Article on SFGATE »
Article PDF »

Owners - Development Stories - Story One

This 29 acre lot was purchased in late 2009, before building had occurred on any lot at Rim Rock. Living in the Bay Area, the new owners saw the potential for a dream getaway spot. They had been looking for several years in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino without finding anything that met their specific requirements. Other properties were too rustic, untamed, remote, crowded, or just too difficult to develop.

The major features that attracted them to Rim Rock were:

  • Protection of their property value assured by the CC&Rs
  • Proximity for easy getaway from San Francisco
  • Security provided by the gated entry
  • Hands-on participation by the developer who was committed to maintaining and continuing to improve the development
  • Rolling nature of the terrain
  • Tremendous views
  • Rich soils that were perfect for planting their planned vineyard and olive trees
  • Clean air
  • Quiet surroundings
  • Abundant well/source of water
  • Development at their own pace, with no time limits to build
  • Convenience of nearby Middletown (restaurants, groceries, etc.)

Vineyard and Pump House

The owners were wine enthusiasts, and they always dreamed of having a working vineyard. Their first project was to plant one on their new property. After installing the supporting infrastructure - water storage, irrigation system, electrical – they planted Malbec and Grenache grapes in their new 5 acre hillside vineyard. They also built a pump house made from locally harvested stone, again from their own property.

Beautiful Natural Stone Border Wall

Rim Rock’s indigenous rocks are extraordinarily attractive, and ideal to use for various types of projects. The owners built a 600 foot rock wall to border the south end of their property, using the rock that came from clearing their vineyard. They've now planted approximately 100 trees throughout their property, including Italian Stone Pines, Afghan Pines, Cork Oaks, Mission Olives, and California Peppers.

Olive Groves, Honey

In addition to planting their vineyard and trees, the owners installed 15 producing bee hives. They harvest the honey, and generously share it with other Rim Rock owners, a unique Rim Rock sweetener for almost any recipe. The bees happily pollinate the natural lavender, sage and other indigenous flowers throughout the entire development.

Outside Entertainment Patio

Wanting a spot to socialize with friends and family, but not quite ready to begin building a house, they constructed a deep circular stone patio on the corner of their property, surrounding a fire pit, again using stone gathered from the lot. Furnished with comfortable outdoor furniture, BBQ, and a bar, it has become a frequent gathering spot for pleasant camaraderie under the stars, including a recent birthday party complete with "pig on a spit". It is a comfortable location for fun gatherings, including impromptu happy hours and meals with local friends and other Rim Rock property owners.

Adjoining Lot Purchase

In 2012, the owners decided to purchase the adjoining Lot (an additional 22 acres), where they will likely construct their first building, a large barn/corral style structure to house farm equipment, tools, dogs, etc. They also plan to expand their hillside vineyard into this adjacent parcel, with longer term plans to build a guest house and main residence.

Summary

The extraordinary additions these owners have made to their property are graphic examples of how you can adapt a Rim Rock parcel totally and uniquely to your personal vision. Development can progress quickly, or in a more leisurely time frame, whichever is appropriate for your life and desires. You can start with a residence, or, as they have, start with property additions while they contemplate the eventual perfect home for their Rim Rock retreat.