The Journey to Fox Hill Vineyard: Our Dream Realized

Hello, I’m Carole Farrell, and I’d like to share with you the story of how my husband Mike and I found our home at Fox Hill Vineyard in Alexander Valley—a decade-long dream that we turned into reality.

A man on a tractor

A picture of Mike Farrell on his tractor, loving the land.

Mike, a Montana native, always had a deep connection with “The Land.” He aspired to be a farmer from a young age, but life took him on a different path. After college, he became a mechanical engineer for Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto. Though he enjoyed his career, his heart was always in the vineyards; he loved wine and yearned for land to grow his own grapes. This desire led us on a search that stretched from Carmel to Mendocino, spanning over ten years.

In 1979, our quest came to an end when Mike discovered an ad for 40 acres of bare land for sale in Healdsburg, right on Hwy 128 in the beautiful Alexander Valley. He drove up from our Woodside home, and immediately fell in love with the land. He bought it then and there and came home to tell me we were moving to Alexander Valley—whether I liked it or not.

Transitioning to our new life wasn’t immediate. For the next ten years, as our two daughters grew and went off to college, we traveled back and forth from the Peninsula. During this time, we developed our Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard at what would become Fox Hill Vineyard, with the help of wonderful people like Alex Vyborny and Tom Gore Sr. Mike even built a barn by hand to house his tractors, and we lived in that barn while building our house.

As we settled in, I found myself deeply engaged in the community. I worked as a substitute teacher at Alexander Valley School, spent 15 years at Murphy Goode Winery, and helped out at Mill Creek and Alexander Valley vineyards whenever needed. I also served on the Alexander Valley Board for six years.

Reflecting on our journey, moving to Alexander Valley was the best decision we ever made. It was here that we put down our roots, living the life we had always imagined among the vineyards we nurtured and the community we loved.

Thank you for letting me share our story. Mike and I cherish these memories and are proud of the life and the vineyard we built together in Alexander Valley.