Guide to Tasting Rooms • Local Wine, Beer, Cider & Spirits
Photo Above: Poppaea Vineyard
Raise a glass to ramonas budding wine country
— Charlene Pulsonetti
Just an hour’s drive east of San Diego is a valley abundant with award-winning wineries and tasting rooms. Pairing breathtaking landscapes, passionate winemakers and bold flavors, Ramona’s wine country is quickly becoming a tasting destination.
Visit ramonatastingrooms.com for an interactive map, wine country stories and more.
An Ideal Climate
More than 30 wineries are located within the region, which rose in popularity after the designation of the Ramona
Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2006.
Microclimates within Ramona — created by the altitude, sunshine, soil composition and diurnal shifts — are on the record for producing high-quality vintages.
“The Ramona AVA is quite large at 84,000 acres and therefore also encompasses many microclimates,” says Hatfield Creek Winery winemaker Elaine Lyttleton. “So while some might be high, dry and hot, those at the west end of the valley are more likely to be cooler and damper from the coastal marine influence.”
Winemakers — the Heart of the Region
With the AVA designation, wine-makers needed a way to share the fruits of their labor with the public. The allowance of boutique wineries in 2010 was the second key moment in the region’s history, allowing small wineries to open tasting rooms and avoid costly major use permits.
After years of hard work from winemakers and their advocates, visitors and locals could finally enjoy the delicious wines being created in the heart of San Diego County.
While “terroir” — the conditions in which a vine grows that then translate to the unique character of the final product — is one factor in making award-winning wines, it is the expertise of the winemakers that makes it all possible.
Winemakers’ passion for the craft and their efforts to enhance each tasting experience are evident in the inviting tasting rooms and friendliness of the hosts. Each location is unique, with many offering lush landscaping that attracts beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds, archaeological features or an impressive array of sculptures. Ask your hosts what’s special about their winery — they will be more than happy to fill you in!
Since the AVA designation, Ramona has become a rising star, with many wines competing — and winning — awards around the world, while stacked up against competitors who have been in the game for hundreds of years.
More than Just Wine
Try a glass of handmade whiskey, cider or beer by a growing number of local artisans! From traditional iterations to visionary interpretations, there is more than one way to taste your way through Ramona.
The Future of Ramona’s Wine Industry
Bill Schweitzer, president of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association, is optimistic about the future of the region, with new wineries on the horizon and vineyards continually coming into maturity.
“We grow wonderful grapes,” he says. “Our winemakers continue to learn how to use them to make great wine. It’s only going to get bigger, with outside recognition of the quality of Ramona wines and the growth of the direct-sale market.”
For Ramona’s younger adults, growing up in an up-and-coming wine region offers an exciting opportunity to learn from the professionals right in their own backyard and align themselves with businesses that share their passions. Agriculture, tourism, education, marketing, chemistry and geology are all elements that make up the industry. It’s a chance to discover a fulfilling livelihood — one in which many enjoy expressing themselves to the fullest.
With these exciting prospects, there are plenty of reasons to return to the Ramona wine region and try something new — so come and enjoy a glass in the country!
Tasting Rooms Map
Click on the map below to view an interactive map of Ramona's Tasting Rooms.
Ramona Valley Wineries
Click on the wineries below to view their website!
Barrel 1 Winery
1007 Magnolia Ave
910 Gem Lane
Hatfield Creek Winery
1625 Highway 78
Fri-Sun: 11am-5pm or by Appt.
La Finquita Winery & Vineyard
23123 Vista Ramona Road
Fri: 3pm-7pm; Sat-Sun: 11am-6pm
Mahogany Mountain Vineyard and Winery
14905 Mussey Grade Road
Sat-Sun: 1pm-5pm or by Appt.
Pamo Valley Winery
603 Main Street
Mon-Wed: 2pm-6pm; Thurs-Fri: 2pm-8pm; Sat-Sun: 12pm-5pm
Poppaea Vineyard and Winery
25643 Old Julian Highway
Fri: 2pm-5pm; Sat-Sun: 12pm-6pm or by Appt.
Principe di Tricase Winery
18425 Highland Valley Rd.
Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery
23578 Highway 78
Rashelica Winery & Art Garden
17948 Highway 67
Reds, Whites & Brews
629 Main St.
Mon-Thur: 2pm-9pm • Fri: 2pm-11pm • Sat: Noon-11pm • Sun: 2pm-7pm
17677 Rancho de Oro Dr.
Sat & Sun: 11am-6pm
Smoking Cannon Brewery
780 Main Street (Entrance located on 8th St.)
Thurs: 4:30pm-9pm; Fri: 4:30pm-10pm; Sat: Noon-10pm; Sun: Noon–9pm
Turtle Rock Ridge Vineyard Winery
18351 Woods Hill Lane
Vineyard Grant James
25260 E. Old Julian Highway
Woof’n Rose Winery
17073 Garjan Lane
Sat-Sun: 11-5 or by Appt.
A Distinctive Tasting Experience: Spirits, Craft Beer & Cider
Ramona visitors and residents are fortunate to have a variety of adult beverage tasting rooms right here in town, with an assortment of styles and flavors to choose from — offering something for nearly everyone. These inventive beverage-makers craft their delectable drinks locally, creating delightful concoctions that are sure to tease the taste buds.
Smoking Cannon Brewery brings a wide array of unique and flavorful beers, ranging from stouts and IPAs to more distinctive flavors such as their Pale Chili Ale. The tasting room is artfully decorated with Civil War-era memorabilia and welcomes children as well as adults. Alongside the beer, they offer homemade sodas and fresh coffee.
780 Main Street (Eighth Street entrance)