Part 1 of II. Next week see the rest of this property, including a guest house, and meet the farm animals!
On my drive up to the ranch I pass a pasture of cows. During the 19th century this land was dotted with live stock for miles on end. General Vallejo received a grant from the Mexican government for Rancho Petaluma, an area that included 33,000 acres! By 1845, Vallejo owned 10,000 head of cattle, 24,000 sheep, and several large herds of horses.
The ranch I’m visiting today is much smaller of course. I drive ten minutes off the main road arriving at a secluded plot of land owned by, Patti Schofler. A one woman dynamo Patti harvests grapes from her vineyard, tends to her vegetable garden, and cares for her small flock of animals including; a horse, two donkeys and a couple of cats. Patti is a writer/ publicist as well as occasionally acting as a judge at dressage schooling shows. I had to look this last one up. What the heck are dressage schooling shows? Of course horse folk know what this is but for those of us less familiar with the world of mares, stallions, fillies and colts this sort of language is foreign. From what I gather dressage school shows are more or less a casual horse show. At these horse shows you can leave the Versace wide brimmed hat at home, arriving instead in a pair of jeans.
Photos by Indra Fortney, copyright applies.
A curious stampede begins to gather. At first when I take out my camera they back off but then inquisitiveness takes over. By the time I get back in my car fifteen cows have surrounded me.
The ranch. Not your typical farmhouse.
Pinot Noir grapes.
Open floor plan, kitchen view with sweeping views into the living and dining area. The color scheme is neutral and organic encouraging your eye to travel to the view.
A pair of club chairs create symmetry echoed by flanking built in bookcases.
Outside a long porch runs the length of the house. Patti say’s, “Life in this house is about looking out the windows, they shape or frame scenarios about how the house fits into the land. This place is about the history of the people that have lived here before, going back a century, and added their personalities to the house and the land. It’s important to live in a beautiful place. It’s good for you.”
Sweet little guest room. A corner window and wainscoting make this small space special.
Patti has new adventures awaiting her. She has decided to sell the ranch and open the next chapter of her life, whatever that may be.