When Steve Vendituoli purchased Rancho Milagro, in Southern Arizona’s wine country, in January 2020, the property had good bones — it had already been operating as a bed and breakfast. But Vendituoli, who had experience in the restaurant industry and as a hunting guide and packer in Montana, knew investing in the property would be an investment in his family’s future.
“I wanted my kids to grow up in a ranch setting, surrounded by animals and space to run around,” Vendituoli says. “I went to see Rancho Milagro and fell in love with the property. Although it needed a lot of work, it’s in a beautiful, secluded location abutting the historic Babocomari Ranch, an original Spanish land grant that is 3 miles wide and 30 miles long. Rancho Milagro actually sits on property that was part of that land grant. Another selling point was the fact that my parents live next door, so my kids can walk or ride over to be with them whenever they want.”
So, Vendituoli picked up some furniture from a nearby B&B that was going out of business. He renovated one of the buildings on the property and turned it into a common area where guests can dine, enjoy local wine, relax on plush leather couches and visit with friends and each other. Soon, he plans to add a porch to the building.
There are animals, too. “I built kennels, pig pens and a large chicken and duck coop,” Vendituoli says. “I have my horses and cows grazing on the 40 acres I own. I am really lucky to have found Sherri Ziegler, who runs the day-to-day operations of the bed and breakfast, and to have the support of my parents. My dad has fenced the property and provides an extra hand whenever I need it, and my mom handles the reservation system and does the bookkeeping.”
The B&B’s three rooms reflect the area’s ranching history and contain plenty of modern amenities. Two of the rooms have king beds, while the third has a queen. Each room is equipped with a mini fridge and a coffee maker, but considering all of the draws of Southern Arizona, it’s unlikely visitors will hole up. The property is near the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, several vineyards, Patagonia’s galleries and restaurants, and Patagonia Lake. And there are plenty of gorgeous Arizona sunrises and sunsets.
“I once heard someone say there are not enough colors in the crayon box to describe our sunrises and sunsets,” Vendituoli says. “Even after living here for the past 16 years, I never take them for granted. The Huachuca Mountains to the east and the Santa Ritas to the west form a backdrop to the most amazing colors and cloud shapes that are constantly changing. Whether you’re watching the rising sun’s light shining underneath the clouds or the setting sun creating a backlight of brilliant orange spreading over the top of the Santa Ritas, you just have to stop and enjoy the display.”
140 Camino Agave