Food & Wine

BREW BEAT: BALLAST POINT SELLS FOR $1 BILLION

 

By Ed Barrena

November 19, 2015 (San Diego)--One of San Diego’s most beloved and famous brewers has been sold. Perhaps Dr. Evil from Austin Powers could say it best, but the price was a staggering $1 Billion. Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, famous for its Sculpin India Pale Ale has been sold to Constellation Brands, which primarily distributes import beers from Mexico such as Corona, Modelo Especial, and Pacifico.


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PLENTY TO SAVOR AT “TOAST TO EAST COUNTY”

 

 

By Miriam Raftery  

Photo, left: Dulzura Winery owners

November 15, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--At the inaugural Toast to East County event hosted by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Vintners  Association at Cottonwood Golf in Rancho San Diego on November 8th, guests savored a wide array of wines from local vintners as well as foods ranging from artisan cheeses to barbecued meats, Mexican food, olive oil, raw honey and more.

Speaking of honey, Pearson Brothers Winery of Dehesa served up Honey Saccharo wine made without grapes.  Other vintners offered up samples of more traditional vintages, from cabernet to chardonnay.  Rock Canyon poured its latest offering, a dessert port-like wine, while others showed off new varieties for the region such as a Malbec. Plus awards were presented for trailblazers in our region's fast-growing winemaking industry.


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WINERY ORDINANCE AMENDMENT: PUBLIC REVIEW ENDS NOVEMBER 23

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The 45-day review period for public comments on proposed changes to the County’s Tiered Winery Ordinance ends November 23rd

In 2010, Supervisors established a Tiered Winery Ordinance. A key component of it was creation of a Boutique Winery tier, which allowed for tasting rooms in conjunction with ongoing agricultural vineyard operations. Since its adoption, a number of issues have arisen that affect implementation of the ordinance. Planning & Development Services (PDS) held workshops on January 17, 2014 and July 1, 2015  to gather information and comments to utilize in formulating the proposed amendments to the Tiered Winery Ordinance. See our prior coverage of the July hearing here, when some wineries voiced alarm over proposals they feared could put some wineries out of business, while others voiced support for suggestions such as limiting food offerings and sharply restricting entertaining at smaller wineries. 

One set of stakeholders whose voices have been largely ignored thus far have been consumers--the wine tasting public who may want to weigh in on whether they want to hear music at weekend wine tastings or be able to savor food along with wine when visiting local wineries. 


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GROWING LOCAL WINE INDUSTRY TO BE HIGHLIGHTED AT TOAST TO EAST COUNTY

 

 

Inaugural event also features craft brews, honey, olives plus other local food offerings

November 2, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s not quite Napa…yet… but East San Diego County has established a vibrant and growing wine industry. There are more than 50 wineries in San Diego County, with more than 40 east of Highway 15. Many of those local east county vintners will have their products highlighted at the inaugural Toast to East County, to be held Sunday, November 8 at Cottonwood Golf Club in El Cajon.


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RAMONA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL: NOV. 7

 

November 1, 2015 (Ramona) – This year’s Ramona Art and Wine Festival will feature 15 local wineries, artists, vendors and chefs on November 7 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at a new, expanded location at Begent Ranch (18528 Highland Valley Road, Ramona).  Hand-painted barrels will be auctioned to benefit the Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project, a 501c3 nonprofit.


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PRODUCE PICKS: PUMPKINS AND HARD SQUASH

 

 

By Greg Dunne      

Photo, left: Roasted Rosemary Kabocha Squash                                    

October 20, 2015 (East County) Pumpkins and Hard Squash. October is here and it’s time to pick out a pumpkin to carve for Halloween. Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, Kabocha squashes are all fresh autumn crops and in full season. Now is the time to pick out a Butternut or Kabocha squash and serve it up for dinner. My favorite is the Kabocha squash, with deep orange flesh inside and rich full flavor. Some delicious recipes for pumpkins and squash are located at the bottom of this article.


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MUSIC NIGHTS IN NOVEMBER: SAN PASQUAL WINERY IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

October 18, 2015 (La Mesa) – The San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room at 8364 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa announces a series of music nights in November featuring talented artists performing Spanish and classical guitar, blues, folk, bluegrass, country, classic rock, jazz with a Latin twist and more.  Admission is free; wine, cheese, crackers and dessert are available for purchase in this intimate back-room setting.  Scroll down for details on each concert, and for more information, visit www.sanpasqualwinery.com


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BILL TO RESTRICT ANTIBIOTICS IN LIVESTOCK SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

 

East County News Service

October 13, 2015 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed the  nation’s strictest standard for use of antibiotics in livestock. 

The new law addresses concerns raised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates 2 million people in the U.S. are infected with drug resistant bacteria,  and 23,000 die each year of these superbugs. Public health officials believe the overuse of antibiotics in cattle, pigs and other livestock in meat and dairy production endangers the public health.


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EAST COUNTY EATERS: A FEAST FROM THE MIDDLE EAST AT ALI BABA

 

By Devoreo Bell

October 10, 2015 (El Cajon)--If you are hungry and looking for a great place to eat with a Middle Eastern flavor, Ali Baba is the place for you.


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BREW BEAT: OKTOBERFESTS COME TO EAST COUNTY

 

By Ed Barrena



October 3, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Oktoberfest is a big deal in East County. Locally we have many festivities that hit the mark when it comes to the traditional Bavarian celebration. But what is it all about?


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MCDONALD'S SWITCHING TO CAGE-FREE EGGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Two billion eggs a year are purchased by McDonald’s for its egg McMuffins and other menu items. Now, the giant fast-food company has announced it will transition to buy 100% of its eggs from suppliers who raise cage-free chickens.


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HAGGEN TO CLOSE ALL 25 GROCERY STORES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

October 2, 2015 (San Diego) – Just days after announcing plans to file for bankruptcy and reorganize around fewer but more profitable stores, Haggen Market has announced it will close all 25 San Diego County markets.


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FALL DEEP PIT BBQ OCT. 10

 

September 30, 2015 (Alpine)—The Alpine VFW Bert Fuller Post 9578 will host a “Fall Deep Pit BBQ” on October 10 starting at 2 p.m. This event is open to the public and proceeds benefit veterans organizations.


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BARONS BACKROOM BEER PAIRING SEPT. 30 IN ALPINE

 

September 29, 2015 (San Diego) – Barons Market will host “Backroom Beer Pairing,” featuring locally made brews from Pizza Port Brewing Co. and yummy delights from Gourmet Bites. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. Join Barons Market at  1347 Tavern Road in Alpine to raise money for local breast cancer support.


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LAKESIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTING 3RD ANNUAL CHILI COOK-OFF OCT. 17

 

 

Beans ‘n’ Beers Seeking Chili Cooks, Vendors, Sponsors For October 17 Community Event

September 24, 2015 (Lakeside)--The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its 3rd annual Beans ‘n’ Beers event on Saturday, October 17 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. The FREE event features an amateur chili cook-off, children’s activities and petting zoo, live musical and dance performances, beer tasting, local food vendors, and much more!


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HAGGEN FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY TO REORGANIZE AROUND FEWER STORES, PROFITABLE LOCATIONS

 

East County News Service

September 14, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Haggen, a major West Coast regional grocer, has announced plans to reorganize around its core profitable stores by filing voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company has received commitments for up to $215 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from its existing lenders to maintain operations and the flow of merchandise to its stores during the sale process.


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READY, SET, STOMP! HACIENDA DE LAS ROSAS WINERY CELEBRATES REOPENING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Miriam Raftery and Kristin Kjaero

September 7, 2015 (Ramona) -- Members of the Hacienda de las Rosas Winery's wine club kicked up their heels on Labor Day at the winery's 8th annual grape stomp.  The occasion also marked the grand reopening of the winery, which was closed over the summer following the death last winter of winemaker William Holzhaur.

Today, however, was a day of festivities as guests stomped grapes, sipped wine, savored tacos and enjoyed horse-drawn carriage rides.  The event also included a silent auction and donations to benefit the Ramona Humane Society.


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WINE TASTING CLASS @SPACEBAR CAFÉ & WINE BISTRO SEPT.1 3 IN LA MESA

East County News Service

September 4, 2015 (La Mesa) – The @Spacebar Café and Wine Bistro in La Mesa invites you to a wine tasting class featuring wines from Argentina and Chile, each paired with delicious tapas.  New World meets Old World at this event on September 13th from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.


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PRODUCE PICKS: LABOR DAY WEEKEND HASS AVOCADOS (LOCAL GROWN)

 

By Greg Dunne

September 4, 2015 (San Diego East County)--Labor Day signals the end of summer. It’s time to barbeque – a time for ribs, corn on the cob, watermelon, and to enjoy family and friends. If you want to stump friends at the barbeque, ask when, where and who, was the founder of the Hass avocado. Rudolph Hass first developed the Hass avocado in 1926, more later in the article. Sweet white corn and watermelons are already locked in our minds and on the agenda for Labor Day weekend. So let’s have fun with green salad, avocados and some homemade potato salad.


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A SMOKIN' HOT EVENT: DESCANSO DEEP-PIT BBQ SEPT. 6

 

August 25, 2015 (Descanso)--Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Descanso will hold its 78th Annual Deep Pit Barbecue on Sunday, September 6th during the Labor Day weekend.


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TROPICAL PARTY SAT. SEPT. 5 WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE!

 

 

August 31, 2015 (El Cajon)--Don your Hawaiian shirt, sarong or other festive attire and join us this Saturday, September 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at East County Magazine's Tropical Party as we celebrate summer's end and watch the sunset atop the roof of our studio building in El Cajon (1625 East Main St., just off the Greenfield exit from I-8)   Savor the flavors of the tropics:

 Tropical feast  including coconut curry &  tropical chicken from Pick Up Stix, Pina Berry Colada & Champagne Mango Cakes from Grove Pastry Shop, island-fresh pineapple from Baron’s Market.

Pacific Islanders Beer and Wine-tasting with San Pasqual Winery (award-winning wines including passionfruit!)

Live entertainment:  Reggae music by Ed Barrena & musical theater by Visionary Dance Theatre. 

Prize drawings & silent auction: Padres tickets, Italian dinner lover's basket, wine lover's basket with premium vintages, "Hairspray" musical theater tickets, pottery by Get Centered Clay, Kwai Sun studio passes (yoga, pilates, karate, fitness and more), dance lessons, beach-goers basket, Water Conservation Garden memberships, Santee Lakes fishing and pedal boat passes, Urban Jungle passes, Hawaiian wear, hand-crafted treasure chest, & more!   SPACE LIMITED: EARLY RSVP STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.


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AS LOCAL AS IT GETS: FARM TO TABLE DINNER SEPT. 11

 

Jeremy’s on the Hill feast to feature Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Hard Cider and Golden Coast Meade on menu

August 29, 2015 (Julian)--Chef Jeremy Manley at Jeremy’s on the Hill has created another multi course feast featuring local produce, proteins and beverages on Friday, September 11th at 6:45pm.


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SPRING VALLEY TAILGATE & BBQ FESTIVAL OCT. 18

 

August 29, 2015 (Spring Valley)—Cali Comfort and the Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce invite you to savor the 6th annual Tailgate and BBQ Festival on October 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Amateur barbecue enthusiasts will compete for over$1,000 in prizes at this event, which benefits youth sports in Spring Valley and includes free live entertainment for NFL fans and families, a kids’ zone and street vendors.


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BARONS BIRTHDAY PARTY: AUG. 29 IN ALPINE

 

August 28, 2015 (Alpine) – Baron’s Market is celebrating its first birthday in Alpine on Saturday, <August 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m . The festivities will include ice cream floats, hot dogs, trivia contests and a chance to win a bag full of gourmet groceries.


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WINERIES ON HIGHWAY 94 WEBSITE NOW UP: TOURS TO LAUNCH SOON

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The newest growing wine region in our area is along historic Highway 94. A website has been set up at http://www.thewineriesonhighway94.com/ by growers and wine producers bringing their vision of a wine-region in the southeast county to fruition.


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KIWANIS HOST CAR SHOW, CHILI COOK OFF IN ALPINE SEPT. 19

 

East County News Service

August 19, 2015 (Alpine)—The Kiwanis Club of Alpine is looking for some good cooks to enter its annual Alpine Kiwanis Car Show & Chili Cook Off set for Saturday, September 19.  The fundraiser supports local children and the Alpine Community Center.


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EGG SHORTAGE LEAVES RESTAURANTS SCRAMBLING FOR SOLUTIONS

 

East County News Service

August 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – An Avian Flu outbreak has caused 48,000 chickens and other poultry to be  put to death to prevent spread of the deadly disease, CBS news reports.  That’s caused the price of eggs to skyrocket—and has left some restaurant owners scrambling to find substitute ingredients.


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CA FARMERS IRRIGRATE CROPS WITH FRACKING WASTEWATER: CONSUMER GROUPS VOICE ALARM

 

 

East County News Service

August 14, 2015 (San Diego)—Fruits, nuts, and other crops including some sold as organic have been grown using irrigation from oil fracking wastewater laced with toxins in drought-stricken California.

Now some consumer advocacy groups including Food & Water Watch are calling for a halt to the practice.  Courage Campaign has launched a petition for consumers to pledge that they won’t buy food products grown with oil wastewater, or what Courage Campaign calls “toxic sludge.”

 A shocking investigation by Mother Jones magazine reveals that oil wastewater has reportedly been sold to 90 landowners in Southern California, including Bee Sweet Citrus and  Halos, a citrus company which has the slogan “pure goodness” and Sunview, which sells grapes and raisins including some certified as organic.  Another company reportedly irrigating with oil wastewater is Trinchero Family Estates, which supplies grapes for winemakers including Sutter Home.


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THE PROPRIETOR'S RESERVE WINE BAR IS THE REAL DEAL

Photos courtesy of Sandra Small/ Photographer, Source: La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

August 11, 2015 (La Mesa) --A group of very happy and thirsty La Mesa Chamber members gathered to visit this new wine bar and be a part of the ribbon cutting to welcome Proprietor's Reserve  to La Mesa on Thursday, August 6th.  Owners, Barbara and Michael Rammelsberg were on hand and greeted members, with their warm smiles and bubbly personalities.  Barbara was there early, setting up the area to be sure that the cheeses and other delicious food items were ready as guests arrived.  

After the  ribbon cutting, guests were escorted into the restaurant and were treated to hot chicken wings and their special meatballs and other delectable items.  This is truly a family run business, as the crowd was introduced to their sons who were also on hand to meet attendees and were also reminded that their grandson works in the bar, the Turquoise Room as a bartender.  Michael spoke to the group and shared his vision, experience and goals for this new addition to the La Mesa business community. 


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WINE, MEAD, CIDER AND BEER ON TAP AT "SIP OF JULIAN" AUGUST 8

 

August 3, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Saturday August 8 marks the first annual "Sip of Julian."  Eight participants are included in this event, highlighting Julian-area wineries and other tasting rooms.  Joining the traditional wine producers are a craft brewery, hard cider, and a mead producer.


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