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VINES AND WINES: INTRODUCING A NEW COLUMN FOR WINE LOVERS

 

 

 

 

 

By Donn Rutkoff

"Man About Wine"

 

July 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- Hello to all wine lovers in the East County and all wine lovers anywhere who are reading East County Magazine.  This is my first column and we hope there will be many more.  I will be bringing you news of what is happening here in the county, news of interest to the local growers and fermenters, and some educational "fluff" to help you enjoy wines.

Here is a preview of this week's wine-worthy topics.  (Hit "read more" and scroll down for the full stories.) 

  • Sparkling wines in an hour?
  • Warm-weather red grapes
  • New tasting rooms - thanks to rezoning underway
  • Wine columnist shares his roots

A LAVENDER AND WINE EXPERIENCE: JULY 23 AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY

 

 

 

July 1, 2014 (Ramona) – What could be finer than to savor a “Lavender and Wine Experience” plus catered delicacies?   Ramona Ranch Winery, Trezette’s Catering and Volcan Vista Farm invites you to “evoke your sensations” and meet the farmer, wine maker and chef on Wednesday evening, July 23 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

Learn about growing Lavender and Ramona’s exploding wine-region while creating your own custom sachet over a Lavender-themed buffet style dinner paired with a glass of Ramona Ranch Wine as the sun sets on the outdoor tasting terrace at Ramona Ranch Winery in Ramona.

SMALL, LOCAL WINERIES CONCERNED ABOUT PROPOSED ZONING AMENDMENT

 

By Sharon Penny

County Contends Amendments Will Clarify Existing Ordinance; Wineries See Restrictions with Major Impacts

January 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The County of San Diego held a Tiered Winery Ordinance Workshop on January 17 in an effort to discuss and solicit feedback from the public on its draft zoning ordinance amendments that will affect local wineries.

More than 100 people were in attendance, many representing a variety of boutique wineries in San Diego County.

There was a unanimous sentiment from local vintners that the proposed amendments would place burdensome restrictions on local wineries, leading to the destruction of the county’s burgeoning small business operations.

WINERIES OBJECT TO PROPOSED CHANGES TO BOUTIQUE WINERY ORDINANCE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2014 (Ramona) – The County is considering changes to its zoning ordinance for boutique and small wineries.  But local vintners say the added regulation could crush our region’s growing wine-making industry.  Concerned winery owners are meeting tonight to discuss the issues.  View latest revisions here. On Friday at 10 a.m., a meeting with County planners will be held in the County Operations Center, 5520 Overland Road San Diego in the Planning Commission chambers.

Teri Kerns is president of Ramona Ranch Winery and editor of the Ramona Valley Wine Region Magazine.   In a letter to Joseph Farace at the County’s Planning and Development Services, she writes that the proposed changes “will destroy our new industry” if adopted and would be “the most restrictive grape-growing, farming, and wine-making ordinance in California.”

HIGHWAY 94 CLUB TO HOST WINETASTING EVENT SEPT. 19

 

September 12, 2013 (Barrett Junction) The Highway 94 Club will showcase local wines at a special tasting event Thursday September 19 at the Barrett Junction Café, 1020 Barrett Lake Road in Dulzura. Everyone (at least 21 years old) is invited. Come and meet the vintners, learn a little about grape growing and wine making and taste some excellent wines. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held on the back patio of the café. Dinner is $9 per person and the wine tasting is complimentary with each purchased dinner.

Winemaking is taking hold in East County. Local wine grape growers and wine makers are starting small, boutique wineries on their properties. These vineyards are beginning to produce some very high quality wines. Over the past few years, several of these wines have won Gold, Silver and Bronze awards at the San Diego County Fair’s yearly Amateur Wine Competition.

PEOPLE OF THE EARTH LIVE AT SAN PASQUAL WINERY AUG. 31

 

August 29, 2013 (La Mesa) – People of the Earth, a guitar/keyboard duo, will perform live on Saturday, August 31 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the San Pasqual Winery tasting room at 9364 La Mesa Blvd.  (map)

The duo will play popular favorites from the 80's through today, in addition to entertaining original music. There is no cover charge; guests may purchase wine by the glass; cheese,  crackers and dessert are available for sale.

HUNDREDS CHEER OPENING OF WINERY IN LA MESA AS WINEMAKER REAPS REWARDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2013 (La Mesa) – “Isn’t this amazing?” Linda McWilliams, winemaker at San Pasqual Winery, exclaimed, standing inside the company’s new winery in a former industrial building in La Mesa. Hundreds of guests packed into the 4,500 square foot space for the winery’s grand opening celebration last weekend, savoring the fruits of McWilliams’ labors.

Those labors are yielding some impressive results.  At this year’s  San Diego County Fair, San Pasqual Winery picked up six awards, including a gold medal for the winery’s most popular offering, Habañera passionfruit wine.

WINE PIONEERS REAP REWARDS IN CAMPO

 

By Sholeh Sisson  and Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2013 (Campo)-- After passing winding roads and cow pastures in the most southern part of our County's backcountry, you will find Campo Creek Vineyards. Their winery won three bronze medals at last year’s San Diego County Fair in the amateur category.  Now the winery is bonded – and the Clark family hopes to next reap rewards in the professional category.

“This is a good climate up here for certain types of grapes – cabernet, merlot, and syrah …It takes a lot of work to do the nurturing,” said Mary Clark. Her family started planting vines here in 2003 and their winery now has more than 8,000 vines.

FIRST WINERY IN LA MESA HOLDS GRAND OPENING JUNE 22-23

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2013 (La Mesa) – The public is invited to sample award-winning wines, savor food and live music at the grand opening of the San Pasqual Winery at 8140 Center Street in La Mesa.   The festivities will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23 from 12-5 p.m.   Cost is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

The decision to move its wine-making business from Pacific Beach to La Mesa was motivated by a need for more space and a desire to be close to San Pasqual Winery’s existing tasting room in downtown La Mesa.   The new facility will be triple the size of their existing winery, supplementing the existing tasting room with a second La Mesa location.

JULIAN BLUES BASH AT MENGHINI WINERY JUNE 15

 

June 12, 2013 (Julian) – Musicians will be wailing the blues on Saturday, June 15, when Robb Bower presents the 15th annual Julian Blues Bash “Family Affair.”  Six blues bands will perform all day. The event also features dancing, food, beer, wine tasting and free parking.

JOIN OUR RADIO LAUNCH PARTY TODAY AT MANESS VINEYARDS!

 

 

Celebrate our launch party! Thousands of dollars in prizes!

Early bird rates extended to Friday! RSVP to reserve space

 

You're invited! Celebrate launch of our East County Magazine prime-time radio show on KNSJ!  Join us Sunday, May 19 from 12-3 p.m. at the beautiful Maness Vineyards estate, 3044 Colina Verde Lane in Jamul.  Winetasting, great food, music, amazing prizes and more!  

DIRECTIONS:  (click read more below to open and view directions)

DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE AT HACIENDA DE LAS ROSAS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2013 (Ramona) –“It all started with my horses,” Tammy Rimes told ECM at the grand opening of Hacienda de las Rosas Winery’s new Mission-style tasting room in Ramona. 

In addition to Spanish-style wines, the opening featured dazzling displays of horsemanship, including riders in Peruvian-style attire demonstrating the Peruvian Paso breed’s unique gait, steady ride ( riders  carried glasses of champagne as they rode) and a “Marinera” dance that includes a stallion, rider, and dancer with swirling skirts.  (View video of the Marinera dance.)

J.JENKINS WINERY AND JEREMY'S ON THE HILL: 3-COURSE WINE PAIRING DINNER- FRIDAY, MARCH 29

 

 

March 21, 2013 (Julian/Wynola) – A three-course wine pairing dinner will be served up Friday, March 29 at Jeremy’s on the Hill, featuring exquisite bottles from J. Jenkins Winery. Jeremy’s is located at 4354 Highway 78, Wynola; five minutes west from downtown Julian. Dinner begins at 7:00 p.m.

“We have several great wineries here in the back country and pairing these great wines with seasonal food is one of my favorite things to do,” said Chef Jeremy.  Jeremy’s on the Hill specializes in farm-to-table cuisine and features many local breweries and wineries at the restaurant. Chef Jeremy Manley, 26, and a Cordon Bleu graduate, has been working with food and cooking since the age of ten.

GRAND OPENING: WINE TASTING ROOM AT HACIENDA DE LAS ROSAS WINERY IN RAMONA MARCH 23 AND 24

 

Championship Peruvian Paso horses also on display

March 9, 2013 (Ramona) –  Winemakers at Hacienda de Las Rosas Winery are pulling out all the stops for the grand opening of their new wine tasting room at 18011 Bluegrass Road in Ramona. The event will be held March 23 and 24 from 12-5 p.m.

In addition to savoring wines, you can tour this family run winery and horse ranch – plus see special demonstrations by nationally acclaimed horse trainer Jorge Valenzuela and his champion Peruvian Paso horses.  There will also be a blessing of the mission-style winery by Father Fucci of San Diego Mission de Alcala on Saturday at noon. Guests can also view creations by international artist Robert Kidd, enjoy barrel tasting of Swiss Chocolate Almond brandy and port, and more.

MEET THE WINEMAKERS: MARCH 16 AT SANTA YSABEL CASINO

 

March 1, 2013 (Santa Ysabel) – You can savor local vintages and meet winemakers from our region at Santa Ysabel Casino’s “Meet the Winemakers” event on March 16 from 3-6 p.m. Participating vintners include J.Jenkins, Woof ‘N Rose, and Witch Creek wineries.

The event costs $30 and includes gourmet appetizers, wine tasting from local vintners, $5 in slot machine play, and $5 toward tasting on a new state-of-the-art wine system.

WINE CLUB MEMBERS CELEBRATE MARDI GRAS AT MILAGRO FARM VINEYARDS AND WINERY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 10, 2013 (Ramona) – Milagro Farms Vineyards and Winery owners Kit and Karen Sickels have plenty to celebrate. At a Mardi Gras party for wine club members yesterday,  Kit Sickels (right) and winemaker Jim Hart shared news that their boutique winery took home top honors in the 2013 Winemakers Challenge International  Wine Competition in late January, beating out big-name winemakers.

CHEERS! HAWK WATCH WINERY HOSTS HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 22

December 21, 2012 (Warner Springs) --Hawk Watch Winery, which has won international honors for its vintages, is hosting a free party open to all on Saturday, December 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Enjoy solo saxophonist Jason Weber while sampling homemade holiday desserts among the twinkling Christmas lights in the barrel room, where you can also sign up to savor some locally made wines.

A CLASS ACT NIGHT: A SPIRITED EVENT APRIL 29 TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY JOURNALISM IN EAST COUNTY


(La Mesa)—Join us for a spirited evening at San Pasqual Winery, 8364 La Mesa Blvd. in historic downtown La Mesa on Sunday, April 29 from 4-7 p.m. to benefit East County Magazine!

A FRIDAY THAT WAS ANYTHING BUT BLACK: FALL FOLIAGE VIEWING & WINE TASTING IN WARNER SPRINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2011 (Warner Springs) – Avoiding crowded malls on this Friday after Thanksgiving, I headed east instead with a friend for a day of wine tasting and fall foliage viewing. Savoring the spectacular scenery and wide open spaces—along with some fine wines—reaffirmed what all East County residents can  be thankful for – the beauty of our backcountry on a resplendent autumn afternoon.

ALOHA! ORFILA HOSTS END-OF-SUMMER LUAU

 

September 3, 2011 (San Pasqual) –Orfila Vineyards will host a Hawaiian-style luau in its Rose Park at 13455 San Pasqual Road, Escondido on September 11 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

 

Price includes signature “Wine Tai” cocktail, games on the lawn, Hawaiian lei, and live music. Dress in your best Hawaiian garb for a costume contest; winner takes home an Orfila gift basket. Food will be available for purchase from vendor trucks.

CHEERS! BLUE DOOR WINERY, JULIAN’S NEWEST VINTNER, HOSTS GRAND OPENING PARTY SATURDAY, MARCH 26


Winemaker moves operations from San Marcos, opens tasting room in East County

 

By Miriam Raftery
 

March 24, 2011 (Julian) – Marc Hashagen isn’t your typical winemaker. A firm believer in giving things a go even when the odds seem long, he began making wines with a friend back in 2006 because “we love wine,” he recalled.

 

Born in Norway and raised in a small English farming town by his parents, both American teachers, he returned to the U.S. after they retired and headed west.  “We Googled winemaking in San Diego,” said Hashagen, who teamed up with a friend, Charlie Chabalko, now co-owner.

WINEMAKER SERVES UP BBQ DINNER & COOKING CLASS IN LA MESA AUG. 7


San Pasqual Winery hosts “A Perfect Pairing” event with Chef Dave and champion BBQ pitmaster secrets

August 2, 2010 (La Mesa) – San Pasqual Winery’s new tasting room in La Mesa’s downtown village invites the public to join its inaugural cooking class and sumptuous winemaker dinner on Saturday, August 7.

INTERNATIONAL GOLD MEDAL FOR HAWK WATCH WINERY

 

May 7, 2010 (Warner Springs) – Hawk Watch Winery in Warner Springs is the recipient of nine medals so far this year. Most recently, the winery’s 2006 zinfandel won a gold medal at the Taster’s Guild International Wine Competition.

 

HOLIDAY RECIPE SECRETS: HACIENDA SANGRIA


Courtesy of Hacienda de las Rosas Winery

December 5, 2009 (Ramona)--Hacienda de las Rosas Winery, located in Ramona, also has a tasting room in Old Town. Hacienda Sangria has been served at many special holidays in Old Town state park and is a favorite of many guests. It will be served every weekend through the holiday season.

 

“We receive lots of requests for this recipe,” says co-owner Tammy Holzauer. “Use it and enjoy with your friends!”

 

Recipe ingredients and instructions:

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