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History of the Apple Dryer Barn
The former apple dryer barn just north of Philo is linked to rich family histories of long-time farmers and wine-producers whose presence spans 100 years in Mendocino County. The apple dryer barn was originally owned by the Day family in the 1880s. Prior to World War II, before fresh produce was readily available, apples were dried on site and transported to port by way of buckboard. They were then shipped out to communities along the Pacific coast.
Over the years, the original 53-acre Day Ranch has been used to raise sheep and grow apples, pears and grapes. The Oswald family, farming in Mendocino County since the 1950s, purchased the Day Ranch in the mid-1970s and planted Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes to grow alongside their crops. By 1979, over 100 acres of vineyards were planted.
The tasting room visible from Highway 128 retains characteristic elements of its past: weathered redwood siding originally milled from trees grown on the property, apple drying equipment, original wooden staircase and furnishings. Nearby ponds, willows and small apple and pear orchards are reminders of a bygone era.