Ramona wineries

WINERY OWNERS SAY SHUTDOWN OF BARS UNFAIR TO RURAL WINERIES, THREATENS TO CRUSH BURGEONING WINE INDUSTRY

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Outdoor patio at Vineyard Grant James in Ramona provides ample social distancing for wine-tasting guests

June 29, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – East County’s once-thriving wine industry is struggling under COVID-19 restrictions – and some local wineries may die on the vine now that the county has once again shut down all bars effect July 1, including wineries and breweries.

Now, some winery owners are criticizing the shutdown as overly broad and unfair,  since many rural wineries have outdoor patios or spacious tasting rooms and have been providing ample social distancing – unlike urban bars and crowded venues such as the Gaslamp District.


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CHEERS! WINERIES REOPEN ACROSS EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Ramona Ranch Winery's winemaker is cheered by news that wineries and vineyards can now reopen to visitors.

June 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Wineries are reopening across our region, after three months of curbside-only services due to COVID-19. Some owners have been hard-hit by the economic loss, but now welcome the opportunity to welcome back visitors.

Now you can once again enjoy sipping wine on a mountain patio  overlooking vineyards or in an urban tasting room. Some are offering food pairings, special sales and other incentives to welcome back visitors – with social distancing and other changes per state health rules.


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“HOLIDAY IN THE COUNTRY…FOLLOW THE RAMONA WINE TRAIL” 3 WEEKENDS IN DECEMBER

 

Source: Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

 

December 2, 2017 (Ramona) -- Participating wineries from the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) are featuring a  “Holiday in the Country” when you “Follow the Ramona Wine Trail” in the heart of San Diego Wine Country during the first three weekends of December: 2/3, 9/10, and 16/17.

Wine fans can visit 14 wineries decked out for the holidays. In addition to discounted tastings, individual wineries are presenting their own selected special holiday happenings to accompany tasting, such as tree lighting ceremony, tree trimming, holiday music, crafters’ goods for a little shopping, signed magnum bottles, and the introduction of white wines for a White Christmas theme. Santa is also expected to hover.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

FINE FATHER’S DAY FEASTING AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Mark Raftery celebrates Father's Day with tri-tip and sangria at Ramona Ranch Winery

June 18, 2017 (Ramona) – What could bring a smile to Dads more than savoring grilled tri-tip, wine and sangria on a canopied hilltop terrace?  Ramona Ranch Winery provided this idyllic setting, drawing a crowd for Father’s Day this afternoon despite  a pre-summer heat wave.


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COUNTY STAFF RESPONDS TO ECM INQUIRY ON WINERY ORDINANCE PROPOSED CHANGES

 

East County News Service

April 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – On Wednesday, April 27, Supervisors will consider two versions of proposed changes to the tiered winery ordinance, as ECM reported. Ramona winemakers have raised serious concerns over a version proposed by county staff that differs from the version approved by the County Planning Commission. 


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VINEYARD GRANT JAMES IN RAMONA DRAWS RAVE REVIEWS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2016 (Ramona) -- Savoring an afternoon of superb wine tasting at Vineyard Grant James in Ramona, it’s not hard to realize  why this family-owned winery has been drawing rave reviews on Yelp.  The place has ranked five stars—the top rating, with 64 reviews. 

The wines are complex and satisfying.  Owners/hosts Jacques and Susanne Sapier are warm and welcoming.  A stone patio with views of the sun setting over nearby mountains provides an idyllic setting.  Live music by a Dave Billock and his local band, plus delicious locally-made cheeses, round out a palette-pleasing experience.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CHEERS! RAMONA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL IS NOV. 1 AT THE AMY STRONG CASTLE

 

 

October 31, 2014 (Ramona)-- The second annual Ramona Art and Wine Festivals iwll be held at the historic Amy Strong Castle on November 1st.

Guests will enjoy tasting handcrafted wine from area wineries and food prepared by area chefs. Artists will display and sell their work. Highlighting the event is a live auction of wine barrels painted by local artists.

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

VINTAGES TO SAVOR AT THE BACK COUNTRY WINEMAKING TOUR


By Miriam Raftery

July 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s one of our region’s best-kept secrets.  The Back Country Winemaking Tour, which swiftly sells out each year, is a great way to meet local vintners and savor the fruits of their labors—all with a designated driver aboard an air-conditioned bus.

This year’s tour rolled into four diverse wineries in Ramona and Warner Springs, where participants sipped, savored, and partied their way across the sun-drenched countryside in East County.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.