News from the RVVA

RVVA Member Wines Score Medals Out of 7,000 Entries in ‘Largest Competition of American Wines’

By September 28, 2018 No Comments
Ramona, Calif., February 15, 2017

Wines from Altipiano Vineyard and Winery, Escondido, Calif., and Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery, Ramona, Calif., received medals out of 7,000 entries from 28 states at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition known as the ‘Largest Competition of American Wines.’ Located in the heart of San Diego County, both wineries are members of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA).

One Altipiano wine was awarded a gold medal; two received bronze medals. Two wines from Ramona Ranch received silver medals.

Altipiano Wines

Gold medal: 2014 Super Tuscan blend is made with the Estate Sangiovese Grosso, Brunello Clone of Montalcino, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot from San Diego County; Estate Produced and Bottled Altipiano Vineyard & Winery, Orfila Vineyard, San Pasqual AVA.

Bronze: 2014 Petite Sirah
San Diego County; Estate Produced and Bottled Petite Sirah, Altipiano Vineyard,
Zinfandel Lucas Vineyard, Lodi.

Bronze: 2014 Estate Sangiovese
San Diego County
Estate Grown, Produced and Bottled Altipiano Vineyard

Since 2012, when Altipiano released its first wines, the winery has received more than a dozen awards, including medals from the San Francisco International Wine Competition, Monterey International Wine Competition, Women’s International Competitions, Vineyard & Winery Management’s 25th Annual Grand Harvest competition in Santa Rosa, Calif. and New York Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

The 2014 Super Tuscan was awarded a Silver Medal at the 2016 Monterey International Wine Competition receiving an 88 point. Both the 2014 Estate Sangiovese and Petite Sirah were awarded a Silver Medal at the 2016 Women’s International Wine Competition.

Winemaker Denise Clarke said, “I am pleased to see Altipiano wines recognized as representing the superior quality of wines from the fast-growing wine regions of San Diego County.”

Ramona Ranch Wines

Both Ramona Ranch wines awarded silver medals are from the Ramona Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA).
The Ramona Ranch Sangiovese Reserve (2012) wine is made with the same Grosso Clone used in Italy’s Big Brunello di Montalcino’s, a special wine produced in the town of Montalcino south of Florence. The grapes come from Paccielo Vineyard, Ramona, Calif.

The Ramona Ranch Tannat (2013) is a 100% Estate varietal. It is a rare and unique grape that originated in France and is now the National Grape of Uruguay; rarely found in the US.

Both of these wines have won multiple awards. The Tannat received best-in-class and double-gold medals, and the Sangiovese a gold medal, at the Santa Rosa, CA-based Vineyard & Winery Management’s 25 th Annual Grand Harvest Awards in late 2015. At this competition, judges selected the two wines from a pool of nearly 1500 entries submitted from throughout the United States and as far away as New Zealand.

In addition, both wines won gold medals at the annual Toast of the Coast Wine competition where 24 judges sipped 694 wine entries on February 20-21, 2016 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Micole Moore, co-owner of Ramona Ranch Winery, said, “We are honored by this recognition and would like to thank the entire community of Ramona for their support which is essential to our success. We are proud to be part of the fast-growing Ramona Valley winemaking region and this award helps put Ramona on the map.”

About the Wineries

Altipiano Vineyard and Winery

Altipiano Vineyard and Winery is located in the Highland Valley Region of San Diego County between Ramona and Escondido. Winemaker Denise Clarke co-owns the winery with husband Peter. They feature several Estate and locally grown varietals which include the Sangiovese Grosso, the Brunello Clone of Montalcino, Barbera, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel and Pinot Gris. Located at 20365 Camino Del Aguila, Escondido, CA 92025, the Altipiano tasting room winter hours are Friday/Saturday/Sunday, Noon to Sunset, Spring/Summer hours Noon to 6pm. For additional information, go to

Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery

Ramona Ranch Winery is a boutique winery located in the heart of San Diego County in the Ramona Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA) and co-owned by Teri Kerns and Micole Moore. Committed to sustainability, they produce wines from grapes from Estate and local vineyards and offer both white and red wines, including the award-winning Tannat red wine, Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, and a light red Montepulciano along with white wines, Viognier, and orange Muscat (dry), rose, and dessert Sauvignon Blanc. Located at 23578 Highway 78, Ramona, CA 92065, the Ramona Ranch Winery tasting room is open Friday/Saturday/Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. For additional information, go to

About the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA)

The Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) was founded in 2001 and dedicated “to promote, protect and enhance the Ramona Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA), our wines, vintners and community.” Largely responsible for securing the federally designated Ramona Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 2006, the RVVA continues to focus on community, education, sustainable operation of vineyards and wineries, and taking a leadership role within the San Diego County wine grape industry. For more information about the RVVA and its members:

For more information on the San Francisco Chronicle competition, go to