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New Online Magazine Launched for Ramona Wine Region

In its auspicious debut, "Ramona Valley Wine Region" offers insights from local winemakers.

The milestones keep coming for the Ramona Valley wine community. Now they have their own online magazine.

Ramona Valley Wine Region launched Oct. 1.

In his introduction to the first edition, Publisher David Billick stated his intenton:  “to educate anyone with an interest in tasting, buying or making wine.” He also pledged to “offer a place for growers and vintners to exchange knowledge and learn from each other to keep the general quality of the region constantly improving.”

“We see it as geared toward both the community and the trade,” said Teri Kerns, the magazine’s executive editor. “I’m not aware of any publication in southern California that serves both.”

Kerns is co-owner with Micole Moore of Ramona Ranch Vineyard & Winery. Earlier this year I wrote about them taking home clusters of medals at amateur winemaking competitions from Vermont to Sacramento, San Diego and Orange County. They  have been active members of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Associations (RVVA) since 2005.

Billick said he has worked in the design, marketing and advertising fields for 32 years. His freelance “day jobs” include Senior Art Director and Lead Designer at an ad agency.

He’s also an amateur winemaker.

“I want to let people know how much work goes into that glass of wine,” said Billick. “It’s about the passion of doing it and sharing it with other people.”

In a Letter from the Editor for the first edition, Kerns called the magazine “the next natural step” for the valley after its designation as an and the passage of the .

“We’re shooting for quarterly issues,” Kerns told me. While the first issue is exclusively online, she said they’ve already received a number of requests for a hardcopy issue. They did produce a very limited number of initial hard copies for promotion, as shown in the photo with this article. Kerns and Moore have begun exploring hardcopy production costs in anticipation of rolling out a print version for the holiday issue, which should be out around the first of December. Kerns said they will be offering subscriptions with that issue.

The inaugural issue includes a list of RVVA members, plus an aerial view and brief history of the creation of the Ramona Valley AVA. That’s followed by the newly debuted wine tour map designed by Beth Edwards of Edwards Vineyard & Cellars.

Then come articles contributed by various wine community members. They give the insights of the people actually out there in the vineyards.

In “One Step Closer,” Teri Kerns describes what harvest time means to a winery owner, which in summation seems to involve equal parts farming, chemistry and event planning (as in recruiting and feeding friends and family to help with the harvest).

gives what might be called a “state of the community” address in “From the Region,” presenting an honest view of the challenges and opportunities in an industry based on small, family-owned and operated businesses.

“Little Valley in a Big County” highlights the views of Patrick Comisky, a senior contributor for Wine & Spirits magazine who attended the June 2010 meeting of the RVVA. He spoke on forging a Ramona Valley wine region identity.

Pamo Valley Winery owner Jennifer Jenkin contributes “A Little Taste,” detailing the process involved in opening a tasting room. In “From the Ground Up,” Chinook Vineyards co-owner S. Elaine Lyttleton presents the first in a series of articles “on the journey from tear drop trailers to owning and working a vineyard.”

There are wine and food-pairing ideas from chefs Trez Gotfredson and Aaron Griffin. And in separate but complementary closing articles, Kat McClanahan and Deborah Schott write about the sense of community they have found among the wine and equestrian communities.

All in all, it’s an auspicious debut for Ramona Valley Wine Region. To see the first issue, visit http://ramonavalleywineregion.com/

Cheryl Wegner November 01, 2011 at 01:39 PM
This is a class act, showcasing Ramona as a destination for wine tasting. Many of these RVVA members are also equestrian. This is becoming a wonderful symbiotic relationship and will do well in their efforts to market this area. I'd much rather see pastures and vineyards, than rows of houses! Hooray for them and us!
Elaine Lyttleton November 01, 2011 at 02:50 PM
This magazine has a classy Architectural Digest sort of look. Great exposure for the wonderful economic development driver that the wine industry is for our Valley and County. Those are our grapes on the cover! Elaine, Hatfield Creek Vineyards (formerly Chinook)

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