By Steve Dryden
(Mission Valley News, San Diego, CA) – You might suspect I’m talking about Mother Nature, but I’m actually featuring a dynamic woman, Jennifer June Jenkin from Ramona. She is the owner of a “garage winery” and is the proprietor winemaker of Pamo Valley Winery in eastern San Diego County. Her artisan project in crafting handmade wines is a family operation that includes her mother, stepfather, dad and grandmother. In fact, her grandmother is the source of Granny’s vineyard with about one acre of Tempranillo and Syrah vines. Serendipity Ranch is home to this small family winery in Pamo Valley, just one mile east of Ramona. Granny’s Syrah vines were burned to the ground in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire, but have made a miraculous recovery and are happily planted alongside Tempranillo vines.
Pamo Valley Winery limits production to about 350 cases annually, with 70% of grapes being outsourced from grape growers in San Diego county. Jenn takes great pleasure in purchasing as many Pamo Valley grapes from her neighbors as available, and will be crafting wines from her own estate vineyards in the near future. She’s planted about two acres on her own homestead with varietals of Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier.
Her current portfolio of wine includes: 2010 Ramona Blush, 2008 Estate Viognier (Lotus) from Orfila winery, 2008 Merlot, 2008 Indian Princess blend, and 2007 Cab on Fire. Her upcoming releases will include either 100% varietal or blends of: 2009 Sangiovese, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Tempranillo, 2010 Zinfandel, 2010 Petite Sirah, 2010 Syrah and 2010 Merlot. Barrel samples tasted from the 2009 and 2010 vintages indicate that Jenn could possibly have more award-winning wines to feature in the near future.
My favorite Pamo Valley Winery “bottled treasure of delight” is the artwork of Jenn Jenkin and winemaker John R. York. Their 2007 Cab on Fire is a dynamic and delicious wine, “a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot.”
Garage wineries are a phenomenal new trend in the artisan winemaking culture. Pamo Valley Winery is actually located in a double-car garage on Serendipity Ranch at 20997 Black Canyon Road. Beginning June 1, Jenn will be hosting the first wine-tasting room in downtown Ramona at Sixth and Main Street. In the meantime, I enthusiastically suggest you visit this amazing, small-family operated winery in San Diego’s beautiful East County. More details are available at www.pamovalleywinery.com or email@example.com or phone at (760) 271-3090.
Stay tuned to learn more about the World of Wine and wineries located within easy driving distance of Mission Valley. Steve Dryden is a popular wine, culinary and travel writer. Visit his blog: www.winefoodguide.com.
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