Image Size is 20X16 with 2” white border, produced on canvas
The Historic Bastoni Ranch on Riebli Road
Santa Rosa, California
The basis for “Close to Town, but Country…Riebli Road” © 2003 by Bill Gittins
In March of 1905, Pasquale and Luigi Bastoni arrived in Santa Rosa from northern Italy and purchased their first plot of soil in the United States in widow’s sale…160 acres (one quarter section) of land to the northeast of Santa Rosa. Some of the property was immediately planted with grapevines and fruit trees.
The ranch eventually went to Pasquale’s only son, Pasquale Jr., and over time dwindled to 30 acres. Zinfandel on St. George vines in the traditional head trained 8X8 spacing were planted on hillsides. The wine produced was a field blend including Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sarah, Carignane and Palomino fruit. Three generations later, Martha Bastoni Messana and her husband Russ replanted Zinfandel and Alicante Bouschet.
What is now known as Bastoni Vineyards is located on Riebli Road in Santa Rosa. The house on the property (previously an old rock house) sits to the west in the valley of the long and narrow road. Heading south, the road narrows in the valley and takes a sharp right turn between what are now the foundations of two old wooden buildings.
A dairy barn depicted to the left in “Close to Town, but Country…Riebli Road” and a second barn to the right, along with what were pig pens and tractor sheds, were destroyed on October 8, 2017 when the Tubbs fire raced through this historic property. The house on the property survived the fire.
The Tubbs fire started north of Calistoga (12 miles to the northeast from Santa Rosa) and spread, in a matter of hours, to the northwest sector of Santa Rosa. The fire destroyed 5500 structures in its path as it burned to the residential area of Coffey Park at the northern city limits of Santa Rosa.