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The Palmer Wedekind Ranch has a rich agricultural history.
The Palmer Wedekind Ranch is an historic agricultural property that is named after the Wedekind and Palmer families.
It all began in 1920 after Frank Wedekind retired from a successful career in San Francisco making trusses and back braces. He moved with his wife Gussie and two young boys, Frank, Jr. and Warren, to Sonoma Valley where he became a gentleman farmer. He farmed fruit trees and later revived the truss and back brace business to add incremental income during the Great Depression.
Early on Frank Jr. began working on or near the ranch. He landed his first job when he was paid a quarter a day to light the lanterns that lined Watmaugh Road so the train could safely make its way at night to Santa Rosa.
Frank, Jr. married Lorraine in 1942 and together they opened a fruit stand on the property in 1948. The stand was successful and eventually they were selling not only fruit but also fresh farm eggs. Soon thereafter they started selling plants and by 1956 Wedekind’s Nursery was officially established.
The property was eventually split between the two sons with Frank, Jr. retaining the historic 1886 family home and surrounding acreage and Warren selling his half to Cy Palmer.
The Sangiacomo family purchased the ranch in three parcels. The first, planted to pears, was purchased in 1961 from Cy Palmer who had worked as a foreman for Vittorio Sangiacomo in the 1920s. The Sangiacomo family continued to farm the pear trees, selling the fruit to canneries, until they ripped the orchard out and planted grapes in 1980.
The second half was leased in 1979 from Cy Palmer with an option to buy. It also had pear trees which the family farmed for several years until grapes were planted. The family exercised the option to buy in 1986. The third parcel was purchased from the Wedekind family and planted to vines in 1989. The Wedekind family retained the historic home, barn and three surrounding acres.
In 1974 Ang Sangiacomo carved out a small parcel of the Palmer Ranch and built a family home where he and his wife Diane raised their family. They continue to live there today.
The Sangiacomo family planted the first grapes on the property in 1980. Today the vineyard includes the Wedekind, Palmer and Jennings parcels. Soils are Zamora silty clay loam and Huichica loam. There are nine different clone and rootstock combinations.
Certified Sustainable (CSWA)
Planted Acreage: 60
Varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot
Appellations: Carneros and Sonoma Coast