The original grape-growing property was founded by John Crellin in 1887, with money made in the oyster trade. It was named for the bright red soil its vineyards boasted. The winery was eventually abandoned, and in 1989 it burned, leaving only a few walls standing.
The land then transferred to the Catholic Church and subsequently to Wente Vineyards. In 1985, a friend and business partner of Jack Nicklaus’ approached luxury home developer Jim Ghielmetti with the idea of building the area’s first-ever Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Golf Course in Northern California. Mr. Ghielmetti approached the Wente Family and shared his vision for the land. In 1987, the process was started to secure all of the government approvals and move forward with the project.
Construction on the golf course began on Labor Day 1993, with Jack Nicklaus supervising every detail. Ruby Hill Golf Club opened its doors in 1996.