The Wine-ing Road to Ramona 14

When most people think local wine in San Diego, Temecula first comes to mind. While we have our favorites there, we decided to take a road trip to San Diego’s closest and only wine region in the county – Ramona. That’s right! Just 40 minutes away, you can explore 30 wineries set along beautiful rolling hills and mountain roads. Our day trip was like a vacation without being far from home at all.

Stop 1  (12:02pm) – Hatfield Creek Winery

Norm and Elaine were our hosts when we stopped in to visit. They were generous with their time with harvest just a few days away. Their winery is set on a property that is mission style and you feel like you’re a world away. Stop in to enjoy some incredible wines but leave some time to see their memorabila from their lifetime of adventures including a tribute to aviation, classic teardrop camper and more! We can’t get enough of their 2013 Estate Reserve Petite Sirah. Tasting Room open Friday – Saturday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.-ish HatfieldCreekVineyards.com

Stop 2 (1:16pm) – Ramona Ranch

Just up the road on the 78 and into the mountains, we hit Ramona Ranch. The tasting room, of course, is a fun stop to sample their wines but we just couldn’t get over the view from their outdoor table. It’s like going to a friend’s dinner party you won’t want to leave. Teri and Micole have been in Ramona over 12 years now and when you stop by, you will instantly feel at home. We suggest the 2013 Montepulciano – Normally you’d need to go to Italy to try this easy drinking red! Open Friday – Saturday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. RamonaRanch.net

Stop 3 (2:04pm) – Turtle Rock Ridge

Turtle Rock was born after the area was ravaged by the Witch Creek fire and you would almost think they have been here for much longer. Enjoy tasting inside and take time to explore their beautiful outdoor area that overlooks a sweeping vista of the region. The name is very intentional here as they do have a pretty impressive rock formation that will remind you of a turtle when you get up close. Laurie and Ian and their family are gracious hosts and we loved hearing that it had been a childhood dream of Laurie’s to turn grapes into wine. Ask about their Sangria – it’s a fan favorite and great story! Tasting Room open Friday – Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. TurtleRockRidge.com

Stop 4 (3:06pm) – La Finquita Winery

Our friends at Hatfield Winery told us about their neighbors with a wine cave so of course we needed to make sure our adventure included a stop here.  We were not disappointed. With a hot but comforting Summer breeze blowing, we stopped into the tasting room to meet Jess – one of the owners. She and her husband Charles bought the property in 2013. The name means “little farm” but given their location, it doesn’t feel little at all. Come for the view – stay for the wine, and don’t miss the wine cave where they host special events and dinners. If you go over the holidays, don’t miss the hot mulled wine (seasonal) – they say it’s like Christmas in a glass. Open Friday 2 p.m. – 
7 p.m., Saturday 11 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. LaFinquitaWinery.com