Past Auction

La Panza Ranch

This auction was on Apr 12 Santa Margarita, CA 14,750± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

La Panza Ranch is a 14,750± acre ranch in San Luis Obispo County, California. The ranch represents a unique opportunity to acquire a turnkey, multifaceted holding, that includes an active cattle and agricultural operation. There is an expansive family compound of the highest quality, a 280± acre high-density olive grove, cattle pastures, alfalfa, hay, and recreational land. The acquisition includes a state-of-the-art olive oil mill.

Call Hall and Hall Auctions today to request a brochure!

Auction Date and Location:
• Tuesday, April 12th at 11:00 am Pacific Time
• Held Onsite at the Primary Residence

Information Days:
• Wednesday, March 16th & March 30th from 10:00am to 12:00 noon Pacific Time
• Private showings are available by appointment

Verifiable proof of financial capability will be required to visit the property and attend the auction.

Offered in cooperation with Lance Dore of California Outdoor Properties.

Just the Facts

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• Check back often for updates.

• 14,750± Deeded Acres 

• 3,300± Acres of BLM Leased Land

• 51 Certified Parcels Enrolled in the Williamson Act Contract

• 280± Acre High-density Olive Grove (202,865 Trees)

• Utilities include Electricity, Phone and Cellular Service

• Over 50 Wells, Three Reservoirs, Natural Springs, and San Luis Creek

• Located in San Luis Obispo County, CA

• Improvements include:

• Main Hacienda with Detached Garage - 5,500 square feet 

• Bunk House - 4,400 square feet

• Guest House - 2,000 square feet

• Foreman's Office - 1,800 square feet 

• Ranch Office - 1,600 square feet

• Hay Barns - 12,500 square feet

• Olive Mill, including processing equipment - 12,500 square feet

General Description

La Panza Ranch offers a variety of unique and diverse terrain from level agricultural lands to mountain vistas bordering the Padres National Forest. There are a variety of rolling meadows, valleys, rock formations, and treed mountain slopes. San Juan Creek runs through the property and is fed by three smaller tributaries.

La Panza Ranch has historically served as a substantial cattle ranch. Today, cattle operations are supplemented by farming alfalfa and grain hay, and olives. The olives are used to produce the owners award-winning signature La Panza Ranch Olive Oils. The orchard consists of 280± acres of super high-density olives of three different varieties: Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki—which they use to blend in their signature oils. The process is all on-site which ensures the freshest and highest quality products, from orchard to table.

The acquisition includes all farm improvements and implements, a state-of-the-art olive oil mill, inventory, and furnishings, as well as the highly regarded La Panza Olive Oil brand.

Learn about the locale


In an uncertain world, La Panza represents a private retreat and a step back into its rich history as part of old California. The property and operation are private, secure, and essentially self-contained in a bucolic setting with abundant wildlife, dramatic landscapes with views in every direction, and no sacrifice of any modern amenity. With over 50 wells, natural springs, and three reservoirs, water is abundant at La Panza. All of this, yet well-located along State Highway 58 with a less than one-hour drive to San Luis Obisbo and Morro Bay and less than two-hours to Bakersfield, both having municipal airports. La Panza also has its own helipad and area for a private airstrip.


La Panza Ranch features a fascinating history of outlaws. The ranch is well known for once being owned in the 1860’s by Drury James, uncle of the infamous outlaws Jesse and Frank James. The brothers visited and worked on the ranch in 1868 when Jesse was recovering from bullet wounds from a bank robbery. He came to bathe in the sulfur springs at Uncle Drury’s Hot Springs Hotel in Paso Robles. Drury James is also credited as the founder of Paso Robles. The brothers’ stay was without incident, and they left a year later.

Throughout the years, the ranch was operated by various cattle partnerships and individuals. The Cowell Foundation owned La Panza Ranch for 55 years. The family’s patriarch, Henry Cowell, had extensive holdings in San Francisco as well as several ranches throughout California. 

In 1996, the property was sold to Robert Petersen of Petersen Publishing in Los Angeles. Petersen used the ranch for hunting and entertaining his race car driver friends and other notables, including Tom Selleck. 

In 2003, Mike Leprino read about the La Panza Ranch in an article in the Wall Street Journal. He saw great potential in the 18,000 acres, so he and his daughters embarked on a new adventure as ranch owners and operators of the legendary La Panza Ranch. 

Today, the multi-generational Leprino family gathers at the ranch to enjoy ranch life and the beauty of the property. Legend has it that the ghost of Jesse James still rides in the old oak groves during a full moon!

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

  • 280± acres of olive trees
  • 200± acres of oat hay
  • 130± acres of alfalfa
  • 300± acres of forage hay
  • 101± acres of grape vineyard infrastructure
  • Balance in cattle grazing, recreational land, and improvements

Deeded Acres: 14,750±
BLM Leased Acres: 3,300±
Total Leased Acres: 3,300±
Total Acres: 18,050±


La Panza Ranch boasts an elegant 5,500± square foot hacienda-style main home. The property includes a guest cottage, bunkhouse, putting green, helicopter pad, 100± miles of ranch roads, horse barns, hay barns, equipment sheds, extensive fencing, and state-of-the-art olive mill complete with nearby office and ranch manager’s home.

Water Resources

There are over 50 wells, three reservoirs, and natural springs. The ranch is intersected by San Luis Creek, and several smaller creeks.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Recreational Considerations

The area has prolific wildlife including black bears, mountain lions, tule elk, deer, wild pigs, bobcats, coyotes, turkeys, golden eagles, hawks, quail, and doves. Additionally, a herd of tule elk frequents the ranch’s water troughs.

Recreation here is whatever you want it to be with options ranging from hunting and fishing to hiking and horseback riding. Finding something to do outside is never a challenge inside the boundaries of this ranch.

Learn about the general operations

Leases and Permits

Subject to the BLM’s regulations, the sale includes the transfer of an adjoining 3,300± acre BLM lease.

Grazing Resources

La Panza Ranch currently runs 230 head of cow-calf pairs and offers all necessary infrastructure for a complete cattle operation.

Back to Overview

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