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Nov 6, 2011 07:29 AM
Discussion tasting and lunch

Went up to Julian to go apple picking but the orchard was closed since apple season is Sept/Oct.
Walked the orchard and with a little snow on the ground and temps in the low 40's, it was perfect to get out in the mountain air and drink some wine.

We walked to Menghini winery and they had a tour with bbq going looks super cute but decided to walk down the road to J. Jenkins winery across from Raven Hill Orchard and they had a $6 tasting for 6 different wines and you kept the glass..Mel was awesome doing the pour and we brought our dog and bought a Syrah that was quite good..outside patio of Volcan mountain.
These wineries were off the beaten path and it was so wonderful to not be in the thick of things.

We turned left at the stop sign vs. going into the zoo that Julian becomes with the first snow.
Lunch at Jeremy's on the Hill was excellent. burger and their garlic fries are outstanding..nice with an Avery Belgian Wheat Ale...service is awesome!

Lots of small great wineries up in Julian and Ramona..
Cordiano winery at their estate overlooking San Pasqual and Salerno Winery in Ramona with owner, Herman singing Opera on Sundays with wood fire pizza and drinking wine..

Support local...we had a blast.

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  1. Thanks, BC! I love to support local wineries. Though the last time I did local wine tasting, ~ 5 yrs ago, they we're generally disappointing. How would you rate the quality now?? Thanks!

    3 Replies
    1. re: steveprez

      IMHO, the wines have gotten a lot better in 5 years..
      We had a meritage from Schwaesdall winery last year that was off the chain good.
      It's great to see so many grapes being grown in the back country.

      1. re: Beach Chick

        Thanks for that! Good to see some SD wineries upping their game. I've been a fan of Orfila but others in SD were not up to the mark in the past. SD certainly has the potential. Leon Santoro, the late winemaker at Orfila, used to say that SD county has great potential for winegrowing, we just "grow" too many houses.

        I'll need to plan a wine tasting trip!

        1. re: steveprez

          The back country of Ramona and Julian has so many ranches growing grapes..
          Over 50 wineries in Ramona..

          'Since 06 when Ramona received the coveted American Viticulture Area designations, or "appellations" were first created under federal law in 1980, and the Ramona Valley is the country's 162nd area to be granted a designation. Ramona Valley is only the second AVA to be designated in San Diego County and the third in Southern California'

    2. Let me recommend going up to Warner Springs on 79 and tasting at Shadow Mountain Winery. Everything is estate grown at 3400 ft elevation. The original vineyard was planted in the 40s. Some of the wines are truly memorable. The carignane is full-flavored, nuanced, and complex. By far the best CA wine I've every had from that grape. Reminds me of some good Spanish wines. Mostly they do reds, but the viognier and the dry muscat were both quite good as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ed Dibble

        Thanks Ed..
        When we take the Palms to Pines highway to Palm Springs, we've been meaning to hit up the winery.
        It's so pretty up there.

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