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The dream begins...

  Almost 20 years ago, we (Ken and Julie) envisioned a dream. With the birth of our 2 daughters, that dream became more purposefully directed. We wanted a fresh start with a new direction. I would be winding down
 a very busy 33 year career in ob-gyn. Julie had come to Boston for college and 18 years later still had a longing to return home to Northern California. In very short order, and after several visits to the Bay area, especially the wine country, I was totally on board. We would live the life of the vintners that we so much envied on trips to Italy and Spain. We would find a hospitable climate with rolling golden hills and a mild winter. We would eat the cuisine of the Mediterranean countries, each accompanied by the finest wines, "al fresco" if possible, both of us smiling with neat rows of "noble" grapes behind us, backlit by a brilliant sunset...just like in the posters.


We started by buying our perfect 10 acre parcel in California's Gold Country, a zinfandel and syrah paradise. Our soil tested perfectly. We took a course on wine making at UC Davis and after some research and investigation, as is typical for the Rosenfeld's...Renaissance Ridge Alpacas was born.


Typical...it sure is for us. We do lock into a destination but often find that the journey requires a free flow of ideas, a vivid imagination, and a mutability to follow a "path of least resistance". In short, we "fly by the seat of our pants" and our instincts help us navigate.


We would be perfect stewards and unlock the "wondrous potential in our little bit of heaven". Julie designed the house, even did a lot of the tiling. We landscaped, put in solar, planted fruit trees and after re-assessing our "business plans", decided that grapes weren't the direction we wanted to take.

In 2004, we found the world of alpacas. We found that here indeed, there was a "renaissance". A species that has been domesticated for 6000 years was being "resurrected", especially in the last generation and a lot of the work was being done in the USA. A unique, luxury fiber was being improved, with a high degree of efficacy, and measurable improvement obvious in just a few short generations. And it was "green".


It was easy for us to become immersed in this very exhilarating venture. Our herd grew quickly, and after a quick obligatory ascent up the learning curve of animal husbandry, and an obsessive investigation of alpaca pedigrees and analytic data we went out and found the best candidates that our budget could handle and became "breeders".


Our goal was to breed the soundest and best fleeced, colored alpacas possible , with an emphasis on grey. We believe that fiber improvement, in grey and black especially, is likely to be most rapidly improved, by not necessarily breeding dark to dark, but by bringing the fiber characteristics of the lighter colors up the pigment grade. We've made champions in every color.


Much as color is a preference, fiber is a priority. We look for brightness and hand. We look for length and sustained micron, with little variability. Most importantly we look for density and rely on biopsy data to assess it. It is our view that density is the most difficult fiber parameter to improve, so it makes sense to work hardest to put density across our herd first. Not surprisingly, our herd "average micron" has steadily improved across a few generations. Take care of the hard issues first, the rest is easy.
We are very proud of the record that we as medium sized breeders, with a herd of under 100 animals, on "just ten acres" have earned. From our small family run, "hands on" business we are producing alpacas that we feel can meet the needs of almost any herdsman in the country.
We're more than happy to "talk alpaca" with you any time...over a glass of wonderful local wine...

Ken and Julie

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