Mother and daughter duo, Mercedes Danekas-Lohse and Sherry Danekas, along with Mercedes’ husband Matt Lohse, own and operate Pheasant Trek Ranch in Woodland. Perched at the top of a rise and nestled in between a 1500 acre olive orchard, Pheasant Trek looks out onto a spectacular vista of the wide open farmlands of Yolo County. Originally a sheep farm owned by the Rominger family, this 100-year-old ranch has been renovated into an event venue known for its historic charm and all the amenities for rustic-elegant celebrations.
In addition to hosting events, Sherry and Mercedes run a successful business organizing cattle auctions around the country. Mercedes is also the publisher, editor and marketing director of Waygu World, a livestock publication for cattle breeders. While this may seem like a full-time endeavor in and of itself, the family is enthusiastic about their latest venture. “We are so incredibly blessed with this property surrounding our home we thought, why not share it? Our goal was and is to preserve and highlight the historic buildings and land around us. It is truly a hidden gem in Northern California. We look forward to the future and every amazing event we get to host – especially the Art & Ag farm visit!”
Artists were able to wander the property and paint and photograph the expansive views along with many other points of interest. These included the historic barns which were hand-built by the original owner who sawed every piece of wood by hand; the former pump house which is now a “bridal tower; and the intimate vineyard originally planted for a Winters winery back in the day. And of course there were plenty of friendly cows, goats and even miniature donkeys.
Another highlight of our visit was a a pastel demonstration with signature artist, Kim Lordier. Art & Ag was pleased to collaborate with the California Art Club (CAC) during their Woodland Retreat in June. It was a great opportunity for artists to learn from a master and to network with each other. Thank you Pheasant Trek for the opportunity to bring together so many talented artists!
Portrait by Charles V. McDonald