Santa Ramona Vineyards was created on a small piece of farmland just outside Temecula in Riverside County, California. The five-acre property is situated in the Temecula Valley American Vinicultural Area where wine growing has been a part of the culture for centuries. Wine growing in the region began in the 1700s when Spanish Missionaries settled in the region. Though Northern California is known for its rich wine culture, in the late 1960s, Southern California grape growing and winemaking experienced a revival in the Temecula Valley area.
Temecula Valley is a remarkably beautiful wine region with rolling hills and high mountains, reaching as high as 11,500 feet. Vineyard plantings in the area range from 1500 to 2500 feet above sea level, with daytime temperatures modified by cooling ocean breezes flowing from the coastal range to the west. The region has proven to be unusually diverse in the grape varieties that thrive in Temecula Valley’s vineyards where exceptional wines are produced.
Santa Ramona Vineyards joined the growing ranks of winemakers in Temecula Valley in 2011 when owner Gabriela Willis planted an acre of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 800 vines each. She sought to produce high quality wines with old world values by growing grapes using resources that promote sustainable growth and production every step of the way — harvest, fermentation, storage, aging, and bottling — 100 percent estate wines. The beta harvest was in 2012.
“The primary focus was on a single variety of Cabernet. The logistics to ferment the Cab and Merlot were to be done separately, but the crew picked a bin of Merlot and by mistake threw it into the Cab bin, and so by default, created a field blend.”
This small 1-acre vineyard currently produces roughly four tons of wine grapes and about a half ton of table grapes annually. This crop yields 700 gallons, or 300 cases of wine. Our vision is to increase Santa Ramona’s production to 1,000 cases annually.