Catalina Island Winery: Rusack Vineyards

Rusack Vineyards is a Catalina Island vineyard with roots going back again to the Wrigley family. Below is the finest of exploring Catalina wines.

William Wrigley Jr. made his fortune in gum. Right now, his excellent, fantastic-granddaughter Alison Wrigley Rusack is producing hers in grapes. She operates to maintain the family’s legacy on Catalina Island firmly in area in the 21st century. Rusack and her partner Geoff are the owners of California’s only island vineyard, Rusack Vineyards, found in the Catalina Island inside on land that used to be her family’s horse ranch. This Catalina Island winery, stuffed with history, serves up great wines.

Catalina Island Winery

Rusack Vineyards on Catalina Island. Photograph courtesy of Jack Baldelli

Wrigley Loved ones Historical past in Catalina

The Wrigley family’s record has been intertwined with Catalina Island due to the fact William Wrigley Jr. bought a managing fascination in the island via the Santa Catalina Island Organization in 1919. He invested thousands and thousands, turning Catalina into the “it” spot to celebration for the Hollywood elite. It also became the not likely spring education home for Wrigley’s Chicago Cubs.

In 1975, Phillip Knight Wrigley deeded 88% of Catalina to the Catalina Island Conservancy, making sure the island will eternally have a normal, pristine setting. In 2021, Rusack was promoted to Government Chairman of the Board of the Santa Catalina Island Firm, continuing her family’s legacy on Catalina.

As is frequent in the travel business, Wander With Question occasionally receives complimentary merchandise and providers. Wander also earns revenue from advertisements and affiliate backlinks on our site. Some of all those inbound links are for Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, Wander earns from qualifying buys. None of these techniques affect our reporting, but we consider in total disclosure. If you click an ad or affiliate hyperlink on our website and make a invest in, we may perhaps get paid a commission at no additional cost to you. We thank you for your support – it is what retains Wander bringing you fantastic articles. For additional facts make sure you check out our legal web page.

Catalina Island Winery

Geoff and Alison Rusack in Rusack Vineyard on Catalina Island. Picture courtesy Jack Baldelli

Commencing of Rusack Vineyards

Rusack, who worked for Disney, and her husband Geoff, a lawyer, to start with dreamed alongside one another about possessing a winery on their 2nd day. Rusack’s father was a wine collector and his passion rubbed off on her. Geoff was also a collector. They unexpectedly bought the opportunity to start their personal vineyard in 1992 when they have been striving to obtain a even bigger property for their escalating household.

“We were being in the Santa Ynez Valley and were tasting at the Curtis Winery. Geoff questioned if something was for sale nearby to make discussion and Kate Firestone informed us of a bankrupt vineyard,” discussed Rusack. “We weren’t on the lookout to be in the wine business at that position. It was a thing we reported we’d it’s possible do when we retired, but we considered if we did not just take this unpredicted prospect we’d constantly ponder what if.”

Soon after two a long time of renovations, Rusack Vineyards was born in Santa Ynez. The Rusacks figured out the ins and outs of winemaking by means of trial by fire.

“At the time there were being only about 15 wineries in the area and the other vintners taught us as we went alongside,” claimed Rusack.

Catalina Island Winery

The Rusack Vineyards Vineyard commenced in 1992 when the younger relatives desired much more home to grow. Photograph courtesy Christine Images

Shop The TurboDown Collection at

Rusack Vineyards Finds a Residence in Catalina

As they obtained awareness and encounter as winemakers, the idea of a Catalina vineyard sat in the back of their minds, but the timing wasn’t appropriate until eventually 2007.

“We ended up impressed that Santa Cruz Island, yet another of California’s Channel Islands, experienced a winery on it in the 1800s,” claimed Rusack.

The vineyard had been productive till its vineyards ended up uprooted to make way for a sheep and cattle ranch in the 1930s.

In advance of committing to a winery on Catalina, the Rusacks commissioned a local climate study that analyzed the weather, soil, and temperature patterns on the island. They identified out that Catalina was not just an okay put to test and develop grapes it was a terrific location with a weather and soil profile similar to that of Burgundy, France.

Catalina Island Winery

The Rusacks uncovered that Catalina Island has a local weather and soil profile comparable to that of Burgundy, France. Photograph courtesy Jack Baldelli

This unexpected news was fantastic for the Rusack Winery growth. In the scorching Santa Ynez weather, wines like Syrah flourish, and with the awesome, maritime climate of Catalina, the planet of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay would open up up.

Catalina Island Winery

Geoff Rusack accumulating pinot noir grapes at Rusack Winery on Catalina Island. Photo courtesy Christine Images

Rusack Winery Offers a Nod to the Previous

In a nod to the Channel Island’s very first vineyard, the Rusack relatives went to Santa Cruz Island and actually found a vine that was even now there from the previous winery. It turned out it was a Zinfandel vine. Despite the simple fact that Zinfandel ordinarily requires a sizzling climate to prosper, the Rusacks needed to plant it on Catalina mainly because they appreciated the historic hyperlink.

“Surprisingly, it’s accomplished superbly,” said Rusack. “It has a absolutely different style profile than a common Zin. It’s more earthy and has more minerality and a great deal significantly less fruit.”

Catalina Island Winery

Rusack wines. Photo courtesy Rusack Vineyards

Rusack Vineyards Wines

Right now Rusack Vineyards continue to has two locations and makes a range of wines underneath the Rusack, Santa Catalina, Icon, and Balanced labels. Although the Catalina house does not have a tasting space nevertheless, the wines can be observed on the wine lists of the Descano Beach Club Cafe and Steve’s Steakhouse on the island.

Catalina Island Winery

Buy a glass of Rusack Pinot Noir when you’re on Catalina Island. Photograph courtesy of Rusack Vineyards

The Rusacks are continuing the relatives history in Catalina. All three of their sons are greatly concerned with the Catalina Island Firm, and their middle son is studying the wine business to carry on Rusack Vineyards.

Remain at the Wrigley’s Mt. Ada Mansion

Working experience Catalina as William Wrigley Jr. did by being at his former house, Mt. Ada. Situated superior in the hills with a stunning check out of Avalon Bay and the harbor, you’ll truly feel like you are in the South of France or Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

Catalina Island Winery

Mt. Ada Inn sits higher than Avalon. The moment property to the Wrigley relatives, it is now a luxurious boutique hotel. Photo courtesy Mt. Ada Inn

The mansion boasts just six suites, together with Wrigley’s previous bedroom. An additional, the Duke of Windsor suite, is named for the Duke who stayed at the mansion for a number of months in the 1920s. Many of the furnishings in Mt. Ada are first.

Catalina Island Winery

The sunroom at Mt. Ada Inn. Photograph courtesy Mt. Ada Inn

Quickly the most lavish accommodations on Catalina, guests of Mt. Ada get pleasure from provided decadent breakfasts and lunch. There is also complimentary wine, beer, beverages, and treats in the course of the working day.

Transfers to and from the ferry or heliport are integrated. Visitors also have access to their have golfing cart to investigate Avalon all through their continue to be. We also have a different posting that provides you more suggestions for matters to do when you investigate Catalina Island.

Catalina Island Winery

The look at of Avalon Bay from Mt. Ada Inn. Photo courtesy Mt. Ada Inn

Articles or blog posts Linked to Rusack Vineyards, a Catalina Island Winery

When You Check out Catalina Island

All through your take a look at to Catalina Island, undoubtedly find time to check out the island and its rich background. While you are not able to nonetheless sit down at a tasting home for Rusack Vineyards, you will undoubtedly want to order a glass of their wine when you dine on the island. This Catalina Island Vineyard does a great career of developing high-quality wines and blending the neighborhood heritage and lore into each and every bottle. Be confident to check out out Wander for far more tips of issues to see when you pay a visit to California and extra of our favored wineries.

Rusack Vineyards is a Catalina Island winery with roots going back to the Wrigley family. Here is the best of exploring Catalina wines. Plus, some of our favorite things to do while you're visiting California's Catalina Island.


Catalina Island Winery: Rusack Vineyards

Next Post

Topgolf Beaver Stadium: The Topgolf Live Stadium Tour is Coming to Penn State's Beaver Stadium

Topgolf is coming to Penn State’s Beaver Stadium. The nation’s 2nd-premier stadium will host a pop-up edition of the common golfing knowledge in June, letting followers to strike golf balls within the legendary football location. Beaver Stadium will host a cease on Topgolf’s 2022 Live Stadium Tour, which delivers the […]