March 29, 2014(Ramona) The Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) elected Vintner Micole Moore, of Ramona Ranch Winery to serve as President of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association for 2014. The RVVA represents nearly100 vineyards and wineries, with the Ramona Valley AVA recently named the fastest emerging wine-region in California. Located approximately 35 miles NE of San Diego, the Ramona Valley is nestled in the front range of the Pacific coastal mountains of Southern California and has a rich history of vineyards and wine making, dating back to the early missions. Hot days and cool nights, influenced by the coastal marine layer and fog, contribute to conditions that produce quality wine grapes in the Ramona Valley.
“I will bring back the local wine-contests, grow our membership, and work hard to represent the best interests of our vineyards and wine-makers, promoting the handcrafted wine we are proud to make in the Heart of San Diego County,” said Moore, when asked what his plans are. Joined by two new Vice-Presidents, Dave Billick of the Ramona Valley Wine Region Magazine and Ian Vaux from Turtle Rock Ridge Winery, the board is rounded out with returning members Secretary Elaine Lyttleton, Hatfield Creek Winery, Treasurer Gail O’Gara, Salterra Vineyards, Program Director Sherry Wilson of Escalona Vineyards, and Membership Director, Charlie Koehler from La Finquita Winery.
The group’s plans for 2014 also include being major sponsors of the 2nd annual Ramona Art & Wine Festival scheduled for November 1st, and the 2nd annual Grape Day in the Country, a day spent by viticulturists learning about vineyard production & management, in addition to the speakers at monthly meetings who will add wine making and management topics to round out the education for members.
Over the past ten years, many significant events occurred that have contributed to the growth of the Ramona wine grape industry. The Valley was designated by the Federal government as an official American Viticultural Area (AVA) in January 2006 based on its unique microclimate, terroir, and history for grape production. In 2010, thanks to efforts of members of the RVVA, San Diego County zoning was amended to create a four-tier winery ordinance, commonly referred to as the Boutique Winery Ordinance, allowing very small wineries to offer tasting rooms on their agriculturally zoned properties, in support of their vineyards. The ordinance has been deemed a great success, bringing wine-related jobs and tourism to the entire County as well as our small, rural Ramona community.