Welcome to Rusty Gate Farm
Rusty Gate is a small family farm owned and operated by Mary Radu and Rich Auger. It is located in the Laguna Ridge area west of the Laguna de Santa Rosa in west Sonoma County, California. We are in both the Sonoma Coast and the Russian River Valley AVAs. The farm has almost 7 acres of gently sloping land where we grow Albariño wine grapes, peaches, other tree fruits, and various vegetables. We sell our peaches and other fruit to local restaurants between Santa Rosa and the Coast and to individuals on our mailing list. Our grapes are sold to Picayune Cellars, a Napa Valley winery with a tasting room in Calistoga.
The Rusty Gate property was originally part of an 80 acre apple ranch that was established in the late 19th Century. The farmhouse that we now live in was built in 1895 and was originally the ranch manager’s house. The original foreman’s house is immediately adjacent to our property.
We – Mary Radu and Rich Auger — lived for a number of years in Saint Helena in the Napa Valley where we grew an acre of Cabernet Sauvignon and later Syrah grapes. Looking for more land and a more rural setting, we moved west into the Sonoma County wine country in April of 2009, renting a house near Forestville while we looked for a property to buy. It took us a year to find what is now Rusty Gate Farm.
Rusty Gate Farm grows Albarino winegrapes, several varieties of peaches, apples, citrus, and various vegetables. Our primary cash crops are grapes and peaches. Our 2 acre vineyard is planted exclusively to Albariño. Albariño is a cool weather, late ripening white variety grown most commonly on the Iberian Peninsula.
We are midway through the 2023 growing season. The grape crop is looking good, and we’re estimating an average or above average yield (8 to 9 tons). Because of heavy rains earlier in the year, the vineyard had a late start with bud break two to three weeks later than usual. With our relatively mild summer weather – at least compared to most of the country – we are still behind an average year timewise.