Pamo Valley Vineyards

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Pink wine anyone?

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White Syrah Fermenting or as I like to say "cooking"!

Today was a good day.  Mom, Jeff, Grandma, Don and I picked less than half (the 2nd half will be for making a red Syrah) of the Syrah vineyard this morning to begin the making of our very first White Syrah (yes, that’s a rose… or blush… or pink wine).  Everyone in the family likes a blush wine and blush wine is a good seller at local events so I thought, what the heck, we are going to make a pink this year.  And not a dry pink, but a fruity pink.  We got to try out the new crusher/destemmer and the new 180L bladder press = SWEET.  New equipment sure makes life easier. 🙂  I’m thinking this vintage could have something to say about remembering 9/11.  Something to think about anyway.  Hey, right away, on picking grapes from the 3rd plant today, I got stung by a dang bee on the inside of my pinky finger. Not a pleasant start to the day, but I didnt let the bee ruin my day, I stomped on it. Its day/life just ended, mine was just beginning.  I sure love this time of year.  Our first harvest this year, 9/5/10, of Granny’s Tempranillo (that’s my Grandma, Ellie Whitcomb) and Glory Ridge Ranch Tempranillo (Pam, my tax lady and good friend) has almost completed fermentation.  I took Monday off from my day job (let me give a plug to Ramona Self Storage) and Mike doesn’t know it yet, but we are going to press this Tempranillo which I will refer to as G&G Temp.  Tomorrow morning, we will begin harvesting a portion of Tom’s Temp. Yes, another Tempranillo vineyard. Tom lives just down the road from me which is very convenient, it’s all about being local and how much more local can you get than that?  We do a lot of business on Black Canyon & Magnolia Roads!  I’m partaking (as part of the entertainment) in a local 9/11 Town Hall Fundraising Event tonight so I need to rest up and prepare for a busy morning tomorrow!

Granny’s Tempranillo Harvest

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My stepdad Jeff inspecting his pickings

While mom and crew were harvesting Granny’s Tempranillo, Mike and I and his daughter Justine and her boyfriend Josh were harvesting Tempranillo at Glory Ridge Ranch in Ramona.  The timing was perfect.  Both harvesters met back at the winery around 9am for a dual crush.  This will be the G&G Temp!

Bottom of the Tempranillo vineyard looking up to Granny's Vineyard Room (green overhang)

Mom, she just loves this stuff!

My stepbro Jeffrey - 1st time pickin!

Such a pretty blue sky

New Equipment!

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Yea!  Finally the new, long awaited arrival of our new crusher/destemmer and 180L Bladder Press.  These two pieces came from Germany, then to a dock in NY, Concord and then to Riverside CA.  I picked them up today!

Owl Box

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So we recently got this new fancy smancy owl box.  I like to call it the White House for Pamo owls.  Mike put it up and it stands about 17′ high.  It’s in the middle of the established vineyard and the new vineyard.  Eventually I’ll put another owl box at the back of the new vineyard.  I dont think we’ve attracted any owls yet to the White House.  It may take a little while longer.  In the meantime, I could sure use their help managing the gophers and squirrels!

Verasion & Netting

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Exciting times are ahead!  Mid July we noticed verasion setting in. This is when the grapes start to develop their sugar levels and the skins begin to turn purple.  These are my beloved estate Primitivo grapes. On Saturday we began applying the new green netting to Serendipty Ranch/Granny’s Vineyard.  It looks like we’ll be getting a harvest from the Tempranillo this year!  And of course the Syrah.  On Sunday, Mike and I hand selected the vines at the Black Canyon Vineyard to be netted.  We will make a small batch of wine from this vineyard this year.  They are so nice and full and lush to not do anything with, plus, it makes for fun exerience!

New Vineyard – 1 month later

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These are morning shots of the new Sangiovese vineyard about a month after they were planted.

Two Bronze Medals!

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The 4th Annual Lum Eisenman Ramona Valley Wine Competition awards banquet was held on Sunday, 11 July 2010, where 61 winemakers, judges, and guests learned how Ramona Valley vines were evaluated by a panel of nine area wine experts.  See the update on the event at

Pamo Valley Winery received to Bronze medals at the event. First for it’s 2008 Merlot, made by winemaker John York from Pyramid Vineyards grapes.  Second, for a 2008 red blend originally titled “Temptation”, also made by winemaker John York with grapes coming from Pyramid Vineyards and Paccielo Vineyards. “Temptation” is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 17% Sangiovese and 5% Melrot.  I like to call this our “Hodge Podge” blend.    This wine has not yet been labelled.  19 cases were recently bottled.  Temptation is a name that has already been used or taken and legally we are not able to use a name that has been trade marked.  Hmmm, I should see if anyone has trade marked “Hodge Podge”.

Bottling Day (again)

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I can’t say whether bottling is my most favorite part of being in the wine business or not.  It takes a long time and there is lots of cleaning involved.  It’s hard to get into the mood but once you are doing it, it’s alot of fun!  Mike and I have it down packed. No fuss no mess.  We can get a couple of barrels done in a few hours.  Here we are bottling our 2008 Indian Princess and another blend that we have to come up with a name for.  Any suggestions?

Dad comes to help

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That’s me and my sweet dad who didnt want to miss being a part of the planting so he came to Ramona from San Dimas on Sunday to help tidy up the irrigation and finish any loose ends.  We also planted extra plants in conspicuous places around the property.

Planting Day!

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Planting day was executed at 7:30am on Saturday June 26th!  The planting crew consisted of Me, Mike, Mom, Jeff, Salea, Joseph, Robbie and little Jeff. Salea and Joseph are children of my friend Andrea from work.  Robbie and little Jeff are grandsons of Susan and Al (very nice neighbors from across the street) who were visiting from Illinois on their summer vacation.  We all participated in laying out the grow tubes, stakes, putting in potting soil, placing the plants, and adding fertilizer to each plant.  Amazingly, we were finished by noon.  At which time, Grandma and Don (or as they called themselves, “the food wagon”) pulled in with lunch to feed us all.  They made yummy potato salad, chicken nuggets, coleslaw and cake!

Time for grub!

Grandma and Don, the most appreciated food wagon!

Robbie, lil Jeff, Joseph & Salea waiting for lunch

Two of many VIP’s in my life! Mom and Mr C.