Wonderful Citrus Secures 846 Acre Bianchi Big Bench in Salinas Valley to grow "New" Non-GMO Naturally Seedless Lemons
Los Angeles, Calif.—Wonderful Citrus recently signed a long-term lease on 846 continuous acres within California's Central Coast region to grow their new brand of Non-GMO Wonderful Seedless Lemons. The land is being leased from the multigenerational landowners; the Bianchi Family based in Soledad. The Mendrin Group represented the Bianchi Family in offering the Bianchi Big Bench to a select group of prospective tenants through a confidential bid process.
"We are very excited to be selected as the new long-term tenant for the Bianchi Family and produce our new Non-GMO Wonderful Seedless Lemons in this special citrus growing area," said Zak Laffite, President, Wonderful Citrus. "The unique micro-climates in the region provide optimum timing for lemon harvests to complement our year-round program of Wonderful Seedless Lemons. The Bianchi Big Bench property is a large single block of land along the Central Coast, a very rare find."
"The elevated terraced benches within the Santa Lucia Highlands are home to renown vineyards, wineries, and also the commercial production of lemon and avocado orchards. The 846 acre Bianchi Big Bench is a historic Salinas Valley property easily viewed from Highway 101 between Soledad and Gonzales, it's the largest flat bench on the west side," stated Al and Josh Mendrin of The Mendrin Group, exclusive advisors to the Bianchi Family in the transaction.
"For decades the Big Bench served the Bianchi family well, grazing herds of cattle and dry farming hay through peril, bounty and drought. In the early 1990's, the decision was made to put the Bench into grapes and Robert Mondavi planted vines where cattle once roamed. Now, it's time for The Big Bench to go through yet another evolution!" stated Nicola Bianchi of the Bianchi Family.
About The Bianchi Family
In 1776, young Jose Maria Soberanes arrived in the Salinas Valley with the Portola Expedition; he was ready to settle down in the valley of the Salinas and have a rancho of his own. He dreamed of cattle running through the high grass and many children and ancestors to carry on the traditions of the family rancho. California Land Grants of the 1800's helped the ambitious young cattleman realize his dreams and today the ancestors of Jose Maria still ranch and farm on the one-time California Land Grant.
The Bianchi Family maintains a small herd of cattle and keeps the traditions of round-ups, cattle brandings, big steak bar-b-ques and love of the land alive. They stay connected to the community and support it through 4-H, Farm Bureau, Young Farmers, serving on School Boards, The Historical Society, Lions Club, Swiss Rifle Club, the Catholic Church and Mission Senora De La Soledad.
Bob Bianchi, the family patriarch, died in 2012. His wife Mary and family are confident that Bob and Jose Maria are content and proud of the rancho today!
About Wonderful Seedless Lemons
Wonderful Seedless Lemons is a new variety of premium, naturally seedless, Non-GMO Project Verified branded lemons in the U.S. and Canada. Wonderful Citrus owns the exclusive rights to sell and market this seedless lemon variety in North America. This juicy and flavorful seedless lemon with a smooth rind requires no pollination to propagate and is grown in California. Wonderful Seedless Lemons are available in produce aisles nationwide seasonally, from November through May. As the One Stop Citrus Shop®, Wonderful Citrus is the leading grower, shipper, packer, and distributor of citrus in North America with a full citrus portfolio and year-long availability. For more information about Wonderful Seedless Lemons, visit WonderfulSeedlessLemons.com
About The Mendrin Group
The Mendrin Group is a leading brokerage, consulting and advisory firm of agricultural land assets and vertically integrated agribusinesses. Based in California, their clients include private equity, pension funds, investment firms, family offices, large family farms, corporate farming operations, and global food and beverage companies. The Mendrin Group, a multi-generational family business for over 30+ years. www.mendrins.com