Over the years Vista Ranch and Cellars property has had many identities, starting with Native land lived on by Yokut Indians who thrived from mild weather, abundance of acorns to gather and watershed of Yosemite.
In 1869, George Fancher, a successful farmer, settled in Merced County and owned various ranches, including Bear Creek ranch, which consisted of 4,000 acres (1,618 hectares). Vista Ranch and Cellars is only a small sliver of that ranch. Fancher farmed Bear Creek Ranch for 31 years using dry farming, a method dependent on rainfall. When Fancher died he passed his land onto his siblings. At a request after his death, he had an obelisk monument built just West of here on highway 140.
© Merced County Historical Society, 2017
In 1919, California Packing Corporation (known as Calpak), purchased the Bear Creek ranch from George Fanchers brother. The developed infrastructure of water and utilizing the railway system that was established in California allowed Calpak to prosper for 61 years in Merced County. Calpak planted, farmed and processed a variety of stone fruit, figs and vegetables. At one point, this property became the largest canning peach orchard in the world.
After that era, the Bear Creek Ranch started to be parceled. In 1980, Red Rock Ranch purchased 2100 acres of the original Bear Creek Ranch and for the next 30 years it continued to be divided into smaller parcels. In 2010, Vista Ranch began with the hope to share an agriculture experience to those who visit.