An unidentified buyer is purchasing Twin Hill Ranch outside Sebastopol and intends to convert the iconic apple farm into a vineyard, the latest expansion of grapes into the county's historic apple orchards.
The deal is likely to be finalized in the first week of January, said Tom Larson, the real estate broker for the owners. He declined to identify the buyer or reveal the purchase price for the 21-acre property, but said the new owner intends to remove the last remaining eight acres of the old apple orchard and plant grapes.
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Twin Hill Ranch
“I think it is changing usage to be more of a high-end pinot vineyard,” Larson said.
The property has been on and off the market for nearly a year, with an asking price of $2.25 million, according to the website for NorCal Vineyards, Larson's brokerage firm.
Owner Jeff Palk did not respond to requests for comment.
Twin Hill is a beloved institution in west Sonoma County, offering a wide variety of baked goods and crafts in addition to heirloom apples. It was a frequent holiday stop for families shopping for Christmas trees in the area or searching for traditional treats and gifts.
The business has been closed since at least the first week in December, though employees had been telling guests about the sale since before Thanksgiving.
“We just started to cry outright because so much of the county is going to grapevines and we're losing the orchards,” said Pati Wilburn, a Roseland resident who visited the ranch in late November with her daughter and a friend.
She said it was her first visit, though she had seen the business before because her late husband is buried nearby.
“We just fell in love with the place. We thought, 'We'll support them and get something from the store,'” only to learn from the clerk that the business was destined to close, she said.