Take Highway 67 for 35 minutes east from urban San Diego. Going down Highway 78 from North County for about an hour will do the same. Two roads diverge in a yellow wood.
However, your ending spot is the same.
Your destination is the San Diego foothill communities of Ramona and the Highland Valley—a beautiful area, no doubt, with a landscape dotted by scrub oak and boulders.
But why are we talking about Ramona?
Wineries, Big and Small
Beautiful, albeit not the first place urban residents think to spend their free time—but Ramona isn’t as isolated as we tend to think, and as the rapidly growing wine industry there shows us, maybe we should go out more often and enjoy the country air. Ramona is a new wine scene for the residents of San Diego County.
Temecula has a well-established wine community that Los Angeles residents have long claimed as their wine country of choice, and that residents of San Diego county have flocked to as well. The emerging wine scene of Ramona is what Temecula is not: Replace big wineries boasting helicopter landing pads with rustic, boutique wineries where the person who grows the grapes is also pouring your glass. These Ramona wineries are family-run and family-operated projects of personal passion.
Ramona features some of the most picturesque, but often overlooked, landscapes in San Diego county. With so much focus on the beach, it can be hard to remember that Southern California offers everything—from white sand and sea-salted air to the equally beautiful rugged mountains.
We can all agree that there is nothing better than escaping the bustle of city life to enjoy a great glass of wine. When we think of wine country, we think of Napa or of Temecula—locations and destinations that are actually pretty distant from urban San Diego.
Ramona’s wine country has been one of San Diego County’s best kept secrets. Its blend of rustic hospitality and sophisticated wine makes it an unforgettable experience. What it has, in addition to great wine, is heart. It’s a local experience for locals.
In very few wineries are you able to pet the family dog while drinking a delicious glass of wine, but that happens in Ramona, where you are welcomed into the family.
Two paths diverged in a yellow wood, Robert Frost said. He was better for taking the one less traveled.
You will be too.