Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The end of the harvest!

The last bins of Cabernet Sauvignon arrive to be crushed
Oscar helps finish the picking of the Cabernet Sauvignon
Oscar and Miguel at the end of harvest fiesta barbecue
Wendi enjoying the end of harvest fiesta (with Oscar and Ramona in background)

The vines are changing color as the harvest comes to a close.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In Memory of Charlie: Our Chiles Valley Adventurer

Charlie was born in 2000 to Tosca and Buster. His father and his  grandfather Bo raised him during his first few years. Unfortunately Bo and Buster passed away in 2002 and 2003. Charlie had big shoes to fill. Perhaps he shouldered too much responsibility and that is why he took frequent breaks from the ranch.
He was a very loving dog that enjoyed being with our guests and even spending the night with them. Charlie began his life of wandering during a rain storm one winter about 7 or 8 years ago. He was scared by the thunder and lightning and ran up Chiles Valley Road and ended up at a neighbor's home about three miles away. The family fell in love with Charlie and soon he was sleeping on their bed. They didn't know where he came from, but they eventually found out and brought him back. A few days later he returned to their home.
 Over time he got to know all of our neighbors in Chiles Valley as well as all of the irrigation ponds and other watering holes. He loved Rustridge but he needed more room to roam. Neighbors would call and let us know he was visiting them and we would go pick him up. He enjoyed hanging out at their homes and visiting with them and their pets. Other times neighbors would see him running down the road and would bring him home.
Four years ago he wandered down the road and got picked up by a stranger. We finally got him back after 10 days of agony. He spent those ten days on Prichard Hill with a lovely view of Lake Hennessey.
He wore a collar with a name tag for years after that. The last time he wandered, (last winter) he ended up at the animal shelter (we had taken off his collar, because we thought his roaming days were over). After that he never wandered farther than the next ranch. Charlie was put to rest yesterday evening. He lived a wonderful and full life and enjoyed his final harvest with us. Charlie leaves behind Holly and nine children: Rusty, Ridge, Bishop, Bella, Annie, Scout, Ambur, Gracie and Cali.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Zin is at it again: Harvest Cat in Action

Inspecting the fruit
Zin checking the scale to make sure it is working order.

Zin  overseeing operations

Zin  inspecting the grape bins

Checking out the temperature on the bottom of the tank

Monitoring the power supply

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Catherine and Calli's week at RustRidge



Callie and Catherine with me (Zin)

With Rosie
riding Rosie and Lacey in the arena

Going out to ride in the Vineyard

Lacey and Catherine in front of the tasting room

Callie with Josef (in truck)

Winery Work: topping up Chardonnay

Catherine on top of the barrels

Pre-harvest grape sampling

Checking the brix


sampling the must

Hanging with the girls

All dressed up!

Callie and Uncle Jim

I'm in love!
Tighten than cinch!

She's a lot of horse!

Tacking up

Uncle Jim and Catherine

Pulling leaves and thinning crop


Riding different horses

A walk in the vineyards...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cirque De Vin

Acrobatics in the vineyard...could be a new concept for Cirque de Soleil, or maybe they should consider agile felines like me in their shows, after all they use horses in Cavallia....

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Zin is Zin

It has been a week of hot weather, over 100 every day!

Zin continues to act like she runs operations here

See her inspecting the wine hoses?

Here she is inspecting the bottling truck.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I'm still the main blogger here

Here I am with Josef and Sophie, we had a great time together: Up at the pond, in the vineyard and at the B&B!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I'm Zin and I am taking over, I think I've got this place figured out

I arrived at RustRidge almost a year ago. I used to live in Pope Valley at a very quiet house tucked in the hills. The guy who lived there was moving and one day Jim and Catherine came by to visit him. They saw me hanging out and asked if I would be staying or going. When they heard that I was not going, they decided I needed to move to RustRidge Ranch. I ended up in a totally different world. There are 13 other cats here and nobody put out the welcome mat for me. I had to fight for everything I have. Luckily, I got tough in Pope Valley and was able fend for myself.

Everything is about wine on this ranch. I know how to market wine. It is all about presentation.

Wine is made out in the vineyard. (If you don't nurture the vines, they won't produce good fruit, so it won't matter what you do in the winery.) I help Jim when he works out in the vineyard.

It is important to select the right barrels.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Zin wants to take over my blog

Zin has become the ubiquitous ranch cat. She is vying for my job, so I will allow her some guest appearances on my blog. Perhaps she will have a difference perspective on life at the ranch.