The Ranch

Old_Chatham_005Old Chatham Ranch is a 500-acre hillside that reaches from the valley floor along Highway 128 up to a ridge top overlooking the headwaters of Dry Creek, George and Kit purchased the historic property in 1979 and named it “Old Chatham Ranch” after the Chatham area of upstate New York where they spent their childhood.

Kit has always loved plants, Having retired from a landscape design firm she founded in 1986, she now focuses her energies on viticulture and the ranch landscape. George is a retired physician who traded his white coat for jeans, boots, and cowboy hat. He is usually found on his tractor doing chores around the ranch or tending to the new wine barrels and olive oil tanks.

Old_Chatham_045In the middle of Old Chatham Ranch, nestled under magnificent white oaks, sits an historic Ranch House. It is enveloped with a rich history that began in 1856 as a small mountain cabin . In 1893 the Gilman family, while on a covered wagon trek from their orange groves in Southern California to Mount Shasta, fell in love with, and bought the 120-acre central portion of the ranch for $1200. They quickly expanded the ranch house to its present size and spent many idyllic years on the property. The historic Boonville Road, (now Highway 128), at the foot of the ranch was a main stage coach route from Cloverdale, traveling northwest through the villages of Hermitage and Boonville to the coast. During favorable weather it carried horses, wagons, stage coaches, and the occasional bandit.

The ranch today is a place for family gatherings, large and small. Everyone comes to work and play and celebrate the fruits of their labors with a glass of Old Chatham Ranch Cabernet and a bit of olive oil drizzled on some crusty bread.