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Local Wine Tours Now Available!

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Ramona’s Transit Van Shuttle service, located at 603 Main Street in Ramona, is a running a promotion on local wine tours!  They will pick you and your guests up at your home or meeting location, take you to 3 wineries of your choice, 1 hour at each place and take you back home or to your meeting location all for $40 per person!  Who wouldn’t want to be chauffeured to the wineries and enjoy themselves without the worry of having to figure out where they are, parking and driving home?  All you do is decide which wineries you want to visit, or, they will make suggestions based on your criteria!  Call them now for a reservation 760.870.1265!

Ramona Valley Wine Region Magazine – Pass it on!

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We invite you to check out the latest issue of the Ramona Valley Wine Region magazine, a free on-line and subscription publication for both the wine consumer and trade.
We’d like to invite you to come up any weekend to Ramona and visit the great tasting rooms (map included) where you are likely to meet the winemakers, their friends, and family.
Follow this emerging wine-region, and become a part of our journey.
Please pass this on widely and help us get the word out on the amazing little valley we call home, and the award winning wines being produced.

October Wine Pairings!

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Our JJJ Cellars 2010 Chardonnay is redolent with flavors and aromas of tropical fruit and displays the traditional color of pale straw.  Typical food affinities for Chardonnay include salmon, creamed or grilled seafood, pasta with white sauce, lobster, scallops, veal, and the “other white meat” pork.  This month we are pleased to offer this recipe for your dining and wine pairing pleasure.

Grilled Salmon with mustard-wine sauce

SERVES 6  – TIME: 30 minutes

2 tsp.     minced garlic

½ tsp.    salt

1 tsp.     freshly ground black pepper (divided)

2 Tbsp.  each olive oil and fresh lemon juice

6              salmon fillets

2 Tbsp.  butter

1 Tbsp. flour

½ tsp.    paprika

¾ cup    milk

2 Tbsp.  Dijon mustard

1 cup     JJJ Cellars 2010 Chardonnay (divided)

2 tsp.     each chopped fresh basil and rosemary leaves

  1. Pour ½ cup of the JJJ Cellars 2010 Chardonnay into a wine glass and sip while you cook.
  2. Prepare a grill or broiler pan for high heat (450°). 
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, salt, ½ tsp. of the pepper, the oil and lemon juice. 
  4. Brush the mixture all over both sides of the salmon, then cook, turning once, until done the way you like, about 6 minutes for medium. 
  5. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. 
  6. Stir in flour with a whisk and cook until starting to brown. 
  7. Whisk in remaining ½ tsp. pepper, the paprika, milk, mustard, and the last ½ cup of JJJ Cellars 2010 Chardonnay. 
  8. Cook until simmering, then spoon over salmon and sprinkle with herbs.

 

Tips: regular olive oil not extra virgin is fine, unsalted butter is great, non-fat milk can be used.

JJJ Cellars 2006 Merlot  is big, plumy, smoky and rich!  Merlot pairs well with aged cheese, grilled poultry, steak, lamb and lightly spiced foods.  Our wine pairing recipe for you is Braised Lamb Shanks, easy, elegant and yummy!

Braised Lamb Shanks   –   4 Servings

4                              Lamb shanks

½ cup                   Flour

½ tsp.                    Salt

Pepper

1 tsp.                     Oregano (fresh is best, or dried)

1 tsp.                     Basil (fresh is best. or dried)

1 clove                  Garlic (more is better)

¼ cup                    Oil or olive oil

1                              Large onion, chopped

2 cups                   JJJ Cellars 2006 Merlot

½ cup                    Water

Other herbs (fresh is better) like parsley, thyme, bay and celery leaves can be added too.

  1. Pour ½ cup wine into a wine glass and sip while cooking.
  2. Wash and dry lamb shanks, dredge with flour mixed with salt & pepper, oregano, basil.
  3. Brown shanks in a pan on all sides in oil and garlic.
  4. Remove shanks and juices to a crock pot.
  5. Add remaining ingredients (including the other ½ cup JJJ Cellars 2006 Merlot) , cover and cook all day until done.
  6. Serve in a big soup bowl over pasta, garlic mashed potatoes, rice, or shredded cabbage.

 

[For larger amounts adjust quantities and put the shanks in a covered roasting pan in the oven at 350° for 2 hours, or 275° all day.]

Tip:  Reserve any of the left over juices/stock and cool in fridge.  Remove any accumulated fat.  Freeze the stock and use as a “starter” for the next time you prepare this recipe.  It just keeps getting better and better.

Recipe Submitted by Elaine Lyttleton, Chinook Vineyards, Ramona CA

Today at the Winery

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Another busy day at the winery.  It started with picking a small Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Ramona (which I will write a separate post about shortly), crushing, racking and pressing and of course the dreaded job of cleaning up the after math.  You would think by looking at the pics that we were a bunch of kids playing in the wine!  Here are my favorite pics of the day!

Flamingo Chicks – Wine Tasting Fundraiser! Oct. 7th, 2011

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It’s that time again, 3-Day Walk for the Cure and breast cancer fund-raising campaigns coming out of the woodwork!  Pamo Valley is a big supporter of the cause and historically has participated in fundraisers supporting breast cancer research.  I myself did the walk several years ago.  While I didnt have anyone in my immediate family that I was walking for, I felt a need to do this and I walked for all the other amazing women affected by breast cancer.  I have to say, it was one of the most rewarding, inspirational, emotional and memorable things I’ve ever done in my life.  Get out and support these gals!

Pamo Valley at Ramona Florist Grand Opening!

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Come out and support new business owners Sheri and Steve Brown of Ramona Florist this Saturday at their first annual open house event & fundraiser for the After School All Stars. Join them on Saturday September 24th for fun, food & fabulous wine from Pamo Valley Winery. There will be prizes, drawings and free hot dogs and chips. Come see their newly remodeled shop filled with home décor, jewelry, hand bags, spa products and much much more.  The  Ramona Chamber of Commerce  will be there for their ribbon cutting ceremony along with the Honorary Major, Sharon Davis and KGTV Channel 10 News filming a two hour video shoot spotlighting Ramona Florist and Gifts. Join them on Saturday September 24th and be a part of their video.

Promoting Locally Grown Produce

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Promoting Locally Grown Produce

Patch.com – Savoring the BackCountry

By Vincent N. Rossi. September 15, 2011

Some Ramona vineyards enter into the ‘San Diego Grown 365’ program through the Farm Bureau.

Edwards Vineyards & Cellars and Pamo Valley Winery are participating in a San Diego Grown 365 campaign through the San Diego County Farm Bureau. Credit Julie Pendray

About a month ago, Edwards Vineyard & Cellars began adding a new visual to its ads in local papers: a deep-red, one might say  wine-colored burst bearing within it the yellow sunbeam-tinged phrase San Diego Grown 365.

Pamo Valley Winery owner Jennifer Jenkin has been displaying the same logo on the homepage of her winery’s website for three or four months, she said.

San Diego Grown 365 is a campaign initiated by the San Diego County Farm Bureau to alert consumers to products produced within San Diego county.

“By using that label you’re supporting local farms,” said Casey Anderson, farm bureau membership and marketing manager. The number 365 celebrates the county’s year-round growing season, Anderson said.

I first heard about the campaign back in January, in conjunction with Mountain Meadow Mushroom Farm in Escondido. Mountain Meadow President Gary Crouch, who sells only to stores within 50 miles of his farm, is committed to encouraging consumption of fresh, locally grown produce. I first saw the San Diego Grown 365 logo displayed at his farm and on packages of Mountain Meadows mushrooms on store shelves.

An article about the campaign in the farm bureau’s March 2011 newsletter caught the attention of Edwards Vineyard & Cellars co-owner Beth Edwards.

Edwards, who also works as a graphic artist, found the logo art particularly eye-catching. After getting more information from other participants, she signed on to the program.

Permission to display the logo requires that produce be 85 percent grown or harvested in San Diego county. This resonated with Edwards, who noted that the county’s Tiered Winery Ordinance requires local vintners to use at least 75 percent local grapes in their wine.

Edwards displays the farm bureau logo on her winery’s tasting patio. She and Pamo Valley’s Jennifer Jenkin are talking up the program among their fellow members at the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association.

“The more of us that come aboard, the more people will know,” said Edwards.

At this point Pamo and Edwards are the only Ramona agricultural operations signed on to the campaign, according to the farm bureau’s Anderson.

Other segments of the farming community are apparently pursuing similar efforts through other channels.

Tom and Mary Page own Page Organics, a certified organic farm on Pamo Road. They sell their produce directly to consumers through their farmstand. They also sell to stores,  such as Jimbo’s and Whole Foods.

When I contacted Tom Page, he said both Jimbo’s and Whole Foods have what he called “internal, locally grown programs.” The stores send out “foragers” to inspect local farms from which the stores buy produce. They post signage in their stores indicating the origins of the products.

Page is an active member of California Certified Organic Farmers, (CCOF). He’s also a member of Slow Food USA, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and Chefs Collaborative.

“We have our own community and network of support,” he said.

I’ll have more to say on the locally-grown movement and its Ramona practitioners in future columns.

San Diego Food & Wine comments on Pamo Valley!

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See what San Diego Food & Wine has to say about Pamo Valley and JJJ Cellars!

Merlot Harvest – Sept. 4th!

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Report form Escondido Sunrise Vineyard – 8/28/11

After three full days of hot weather, our grapes are getting close to the perfect brix for picking.    Please mark your calendars for Sunday, September 4th , 7am for our harvest.   We will be sending additional details of the harvest later this week.

Mike and Nancy Dunlap, Escondido Sunrise Vineyard

 

Report from Escondido Sunrise Vineyard 8/25/11:

The Grape Vine

Hello Grape Enthusiasts, Winemakers, and Mystified Recipients,

Things are running along quickly.  The sugar levels are rising.  The grapes are moving towards achieving “ripeness”.  The question is always “When will they be ready to harvest?”

Mother Nature is in complete control.  The sugar level a few days ago was 22.3 brix.  That’s good.  Pretty much right on point with the readings for past years.

If things are as they were previously, we will have harvest on the Sunday over Labor Day weekend.  But, Mother Nature doesn’t give us as much notice as we would prefer.

So, we will watch, measure and send out updates more and more frequently as the date gets closer.

We love harvest.  It is always so much fun to see our friends picking, plucking, squeezing and enjoy a selection of our wines.  This year will be no different.

More soon.

Michael & Nancy Dunlap

Julian Grape Stomp Coming Up! Sept 3rd

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The Julian Grape Stomp Festa offers barrels full of Old World fun. Julian Journal Archive Photo

Every September, the Julian Chamber of Commerce celebrates the grape harvest with a real, Old World-style Grape Stomp Festa at Menghini Winery. This year’s celebration is set for Sept. 3.

Tons of grapes are blessed then poured into two barrels for stomping — one for adults and one for children. The festive atmosphere is created with Italian music by Roman Holiday, dancing, bocci ball competitions, stomping, wine tasting, a Jumbo Jump for the kids and a variety of food and crafts for sale.
Situated in rolling hills covered with vineyards and apple orchards, Menghini Winery, located at 1150 Julian Orchards Dr., offers an ideal setting for the Festa, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults 21 and older (includes a commemorative wine glass); $5 for ages 6 to 20; and free for ages 5 and under.
For information, contact Krisie Morgan at the Julian Chamber of Commerce, 760-765-1857.
The event draws about 2,000 people each year and raises funds for marketing the town, cleaning the streets, maintaining the public restrooms and funding historic preservation projects and events.