RUSACK, Santa Catalina Island Vineyards, may very well be one of the “last frontiers” for winegrowing in California and the story of how it came about is yet another chapter in the fascinating history of Catalina and its 85 year old, El Rancho Escondido.
As vintners worldwide continue to search for the perfect vineyard site, and the proper varietal to grow there, for us that quest successfully ended at El Rancho Escondido, Santa Catalina Island. Unique in that it not only is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, but, for most of the year, the southern California marine influence provides a consistently cool climate and, often, morning fog. Couple this with the vines being planted on gentle, primarily southwest facing slopes and Catalina Island is fast proving to be one of the most exciting new vineyard sites anywhere but the perfect place for the burgundian varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir!
Added to this venture, is restoring the history of winemaking on the Channel Islands. Zinfandel cuttings have been taken from the last remaining vines on Santa Cruz Island, where, decades ago, vineyards thrived and replanted at El Rancho Escondido.
Not only do we hope you enjoy exploring this site, including the history, but we trust that you’ll be intrigued enough to become a part of our Santa Catalina Island adventure and join our Isla Wine Circle.