Hard to believe the 450-acre property was ever an "uninhabitable ghost ranch," as Coral puts it. When her parents, Marcela and Bassett, purchased the place in 1981, it consisted of a dilapidated barn, a single withered grapevine, and an abandoned shell of a Victorian farmhouse. Marcela and Bassett—who grew up in Panama and Jamaica, respectively, before establishing a medical clinic in Los Angeles—had a vision: They would create a weekend getaway that would also keep their privileged, city-raised kids from becoming too soft. "We wanted them to know a different kind of life, to feel a connection to Mother Earth, the soil, the plants," Marcela says.
Kicking off the feast, Cucumber-Cream Cheese Sandwiches
accompany Sungold Tomato Gazpacho
. The Browns served their 2006 Chiles Valley Zinfandel with the soup and sandwich. "Its spiciness complements their subtle flavors," Coral says.