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California winemakers plant vineyard on unlikely island

Being wealthy and planting a vineyard is nothing new. But a California couple's wine venture is far from ordinary. They are setting up vineyard operation on an island 22 miles off the California coast — and have every intention on creating a viable wine enterprise.

From the L.A. Times:

Alison Wrigley Rusack stepped off the porch of an old house on a private ranch on the rugged southwestern edge of Santa Catalina Island, where her clan once raised Arabian horses.

Under sunny skies, she cast an appraising eye at the surrounding peaks, lush ravines and aging structures of El Rancho Escondido. It was a favorite family gathering place, passed down by her great-grandfather, chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., who bought Santa Catalina Island Co. — which owns all the developable land on the island — in 1919.

Alison, 52, and her husband, Geoffrey, 54, have planted the island's first vineyard on the slopes above scalloped beaches, near the ranch house. They plan to refurbish the entire ranch, adding a wine-tasting room with panoramic views and offering horse-drawn buggy rides to picnic areas in backcountry that is largely unknown to the public.

Toasting a new venture on Catalina

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