The William (Bunny) Porter Ranch is part of the original 22,159.99 acre Huasna Spanish Land Grant that was given to Isaac (Ike) J. Sparks December 8, 1843 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena. Sparks was the great, great grandfather of the living descendants of William Porter. The descendants still live on the ranch and work it as a contemporary farming and ranching operation, raising cattle, farming vegetables, and growing wine grapes.
The 8,000 acre ranch is located in south San Luis Obispo County on the beautiful Huasna and Alamo Rivers. Generations ago this land was considered to be some of the best in California for grazing cattle and growing crops because of its numerous rivers and streams and mild climate. It still is today thanks to the careful and thoughtful stewardship of the Porter family.
One undesirable feature was the presence of numerous bears in the area. They were particularly troublesome in the winter when they migrated down into the valleys. The bears were hunted for their meat and Sparks lost his right eye in an encounter with one. He is said to have taken pride in the scar, but never hunted bears from that day on.
The Porter Family today still has round-ups and calf brandings. The 4P Brand is used to mark and signify ownership of the cattle as it has for the past four generations. Grapes have been grown on the ranch since the early 1900’s. The fertile flats and mesas have a mix of soils which produce high quality grapes. These special grapes make a full bodied and flavorful wine. Out of this flavorful wine has come a new venture, and it is Cowboy Ike’s Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Jelly.