Rustridge Winery & Ranch is the getaway from getaways as one of their guests called it. Rustridge is a vineyard, winery, thoroughbred racehorse ranch and a bed and breakfast. Just 20 minutes from Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail, the once large racehorse ranch is now a combination of the owners, Jim and Susan’s, two passions wine and horses. They continue to breed and race thoroughbreds and have over 20 years of experience producing award winning wine.
Cooler nights and higher elevation allow for a later harvest than most grapes in Napa Valley which gives the distinct quality and flavor you’ll have to try and enjoy for yourself!
Rustridge Ranch & Winery is known for their organically grown grapes and award winning wine. They offer a variety of wines through their Rustridge, Racehorse and Library selections including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. The Rustridge wines are their current barrel selected premium wines that bring out the best elements of the Chiles Valley. Their Racehorse selection includes their everyday wines. The Racehorse Red is a blend of Zinfandel and Carbenet and the white is a Chardonnay with a touch of oak. A collection of both Rustridge and Racehorse wines make up their aged Library wines. More information on their selections, wine purchases and Rustridge Wine Club memberships can be found at their website (Rustridge.com).
In order to exercise the young horses they run them through the vineyard aisles. Fifty acres stretching down the valley make for a great run. For strength, they run the horses up and down the steep hills that ring their valley.
When visiting the ranch, make sure you take advantage of the wine tasting, property tour and the many other activities they have to offer. The tastings are by appointment so make sure you plan ahead of time and reserve a spot (Schedule Your Tastings). If you’d like, you can learn about breeding and training horses or the process of growing grapes and making wine. Another option is to take a hike through the vineyard and the surrounding hills and enjoy beautiful views and bird watching or bring a bottle of wine, set up a picnic and just relax.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway you’ve found it. The Rustridge Bed & Breakfast offers a sunlit breakfast room with a ranch-style breakfast to start off the day right. Tennis, hiking, barbequing and other fun farm activities are available throughout the day. Take the edge off lounging in the sun by the pool or relaxing in the eucalyptus sauna. Then gather in the country kitchen for an evening of Rustridge wine sampling and hors d’oeuvres.
The B & B offers several options for overnight stays including bedrooms with comfortable queen size featherbeds, private bathrooms, adjoining rooms, beautiful views and direct access to the pool and sauna. For more information and availability look at their options here (Rustridge Bed & Breakfast).
It’s hard to beat a nice warm and cozy fireplace in the bedroom, a private deck looking out over some amazing views and access to a relaxing sauna. Add a bottle of wine and you’ll think you’ve found paradise.
Your getaway from getaways is here at Rustridge Ranch and Winery. For more information on the ranch and booking information here is a link to their Farm Stay profile.
Photo Credit: Rustride Ranch & Winery
Wilson Ranches Retreat is our
featured ranch stay of the month! The ranch is a 9,000 acre cattle
ranch in Fossil, Oregon, with plenty of opportunity for scenic
horseback rides and cattle roundups, hiking, and scouring for
prehistoric fossils. The Wilson Family has deep roots in the area
and a fascinating story. Here's our interview with Nancy
Phil and Nancy's families homesteaded in Wheeler and Gilliam
Counties in the 1870's. They travelled on the Oregon Trail in
the early 1850's to the Willamette Valley before coming to North
Love of the land and Phil didn't have enough sense to
leave. Phil came home to the ranch
after graduation from college. This is a great life and the
Blessings are many!
Wilson Ranches has gone from the horse-drawn age to the
combustion mechanical age to the computer age. The only
aspect of ranching that has been little affected is the cattle
operation. The LE brand has been in the family for four
Wilson Ranches follows a "green-friendly, twice over" grazing
program to increase grass production. Each pasture is grazed,
rested, and grazed again in a rotational system with multiple
pastures. Wilson Ranches is managing the resources of the
ranch for future generations.
The deck at Wilson Ranches Retreat is a great place to watch the
cattle or deer grazing. The Retreat is shaded by trees, which
are often alive with a variety of birds as this is a songbird
migratory route. This incredible secluded scenic area with
spectacular sunsets and brilliant star-studded nights will
Our guests enjoy horseback riding in a geologically
and historically rich area of Wheeler County, or a quiet hike to
view the wildlife and diverse plant life on Wilson Ranches.
Guests are welcome to help move cattle from mid-spring to late
fall. A 4-Wheel Drive Sunset Tour is also available.
This tour is approximately five hours and will give you a
magnificent view of the Cascade Mountain Range (Three Sisters to
Wilson Ranches Retreat is a great place to headquarter your
exploration of the Clarno, Sheep Rock and Painted Hills Units of
the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. It has the
richest find of prehistoric fossils in the world. Public
fossil digging is available behind Wheeler High School in the town
of Fossil. The John Day River offers world-class small mouth
bass fishing and river rafting trips.
Wilson Ranches is a diverse area with an extreme mixture of
geologies with formations from 50 million years ago to the present
time. Rolling hills to deep basalt canyons, high lava ridges
and buttes with amazing views of the Cascade and Blue Mountain
Ranges. The landscape is covered with wild flowers in the
spring and early summer.
The climate is semi-arid with an annual average rainfall from 12
to 16 inches per year. Temperatures in the winter are usually
mild but can go as low as 15 degrees below zero for short
periods of time. Summer temperatures vary from 70 to 100
Breakfast is served family style each morning at 8:00 am with
the Wilson Family sharing their experience of life on the ranch and
interesting and entertaining stories by Phil. The breakfast
menu includes bacon (sausage, ham or beef little smokies), farm
fresh eggs, biscuits (blueberry muffins, coffee cake or German
pancakes), fruit, and Bob's Red Mill oatmeal with all the fixin's
(pecans, brown sugar, raisins and craisins).
This month, Farm Stay U.S. is proud to feature Splendor Farms, a B&B, trail-riding facility, and licensed Dachshund kennel in Bush, Louisiana,
one hour outside of New Orleans. We recently interviewed owner
Kelly Bensabat and are excited to share her story. For more details
and to plan a stay, check out the Farm Stay U.S. Splendor Farms listing. Thanks
Bordelon Photography for the use of the photos below.
Though alpacas don't have a long history
in the United States, according to Brian Leach, who directs
Sunset Hills Farm Alpacas, alpaca farmers are a tightly knit --
and quickly growing -- community. There is a lot of enthusiasm and
energy surrounding alpacas, and to many of the people who dedicate
their time to raising them, alpacas are not just a business but
also a hobby and a passion. As Brian Leach explains, alpacas are an
eco-friendly choice of livestock, since they clip the turf like a
lawnmower, providing gentle pasture management. Alpaca fleece is also hypo-allergenic and
extraordinarily soft, and alpacas tend to have sweet personalities
and gentle dispositions.
Sunset Hills Farm sits on 47 rolling acres in
Western Pennsylvania, 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh, and a few
hours south of Lake Erie and Niagara Falls. With a herd of 100
Accoyo and Peruvian alpacas, by U.S. standards Sunset
Hills is considered a large alpaca farm. The farm was founded in
1997 by Dr. David and Laurye Feller, who take tremendous pride in
their award-winning alpaca herd. As Mr. Leach tells
me, "We're a farm that produces champions; real stars have a
permanent home here."
Sunset Hills Farm has become more diverse and
dynamic as it has grown - beyond specializing in breeding and
selling champion alpacas, the farm also offers an
onsite alpaca boutique called Alpaca de Moda, a
B&B with two distinct properties, the Sunrise and the Stargazer, and property rentals for
special events, including weddings. At Alpaca de Moda, the farm sells its own
luxurious, multi-award winning alpaca yarn and locally hand-knit
sweaters, hats, and gloves plus imported alpaca garments.
All kinds of guests come for the B&B. Some are interested in
raising alpacas themselves (and some will be
by the time they leave!), while others are traditional vacationers
simply looking for a nice place to stay while they enjoy the golf
courses, festivals, hiking, biking, orchards, and farmers markets
of the surrounding area. For those interested in raising alpacas,
guests have the option of shadowing the farm manager, and helping
with chores that may include feedings, grooming, and shearing the
alpacas. Guests are also welcome to collect eggs from the farm's
small flock of a dozen chickens.
Guests choose between two properties, the Sunrise, a traditional three-bedroom, two
bath log cabin, or the Stargazer, a two-story, two-bedroom, two
bath apartment built into the alpaca barn. Rates for the B&B
start at $99/night. Brian stresses the Stargazer's unique appeal: from the
inside, it looks like country cottage while from the outside it's
an old-fashioned barn. The Stargazer's windows also look directly
out onto the alpaca habitat, and toward the surrounding hills and
valleys. The Stargazer close in winter, while the Sunset is
available for year round stays. Delicious breakfast options might
include a frittata or quiche, including ingredients from the
garden, or fresh baked goods from local bakeries or the farm
For more information about Sunset Hills Farm, including contact information, check out the listings
for the Stargazer and the Sunrise on Farm Stay U.S.
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