News from the RVVA

Travel + Leisure Chooses Ramona Winery, Vineyard Grant James, as #2 Winery in U.S. to Visit

By June 8, 2017 No Comments

Ramona, Calif., June 8, 2017

Travel + Leisure, a leading travel publication, recently named Vineyard Grant James, located in San Diego County’s Ramona Valley wine region, the number two winery in the United States in its list of “a few select vineyards around the country that go above and beyond to astound visitors.”

The publication compiled a list of the top twenty-five vineyards, located from Oregon to Connecticut, based on quantitative and qualitative comparisons and analysis of Yelp reviews of vineyards throughout the U.S. The criteria cited reasons to visit a winery including and beyond the wine. Whether tasters were visiting to learn about winemaking or just to have a great experience—they would receive both at the chosen wineries.

Family-owned and operated, Vineyard Grant James is run by winemaker Susanne Sapier, who specializes in producing wines that are enjoyable for a multitude of palates, producing single varietal wines as well as blends. The family moved to the property in 2009. Family and friends helped them plant their first vineyards. While waiting for the new vines to produce good grapes, Sapier started winemaking immediately. In 2011, she started using her estate grapes to make wine. In 2013 she opened the Vineyard Grant James tasting room to the public, naming the winery after her son Grant and her father James.

Today’s tasting terrace offers a view of rolling vineyards with picturesque hills in the background. Lindsay Pomeroy, Owner and chief Wine Educator of The Wine Smarties, wrote, “Aesthetically, this beautiful winery combines both rusticity and elegance….The wines, crafted by Susanne Sapier, are fleshy and juicy palate pleasers. Susanne has a unique approach to her barrel regime focusing on the use of Hungarian oak. Her deft hand brings flavor complexity and length to the long finish of her wines.”

Sapier said, “Owning and operating a winery is not for the faint-hearted. It takes a tremendous amount of resources and a skill set to grow grapes, make wine, and market the products. We feel truly blessed to wake up each morning in beautiful surroundings and get ready to meet new people at our place, many of whom have become very good friends. We have dinners together, sometimes right in the middle of the vineyard, and travel to other wine regions all over the world together. It’s a lifestyle choice, and we’re enjoying the journey!”

To view the Travel + Leisure article, “The Top Vineyards all around the U.S.: Have a Glass of Wine with Your R&R,” go to

To view the article, “From Vines to Table: Your Guide to Local Ramona Valley Wineries, by Lindsay Pomeroy,” in Del Mar Life Style, March 27, 2017, go to

Vineyard Grant James produces wine in the fast-growing Ramona Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA) located in San Diego County and designated in 2006. The up-and-coming region boasts more than thirty tasting rooms with scenic views of the mountainous terrain and a hundred vineyards. The winery is a member of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA).

Vineyard Grant James is located at 25260 East Old Julian Highway, Ramona, CA 92065. The winery is open for tasting on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. 760-789-2733

For more information on Vineyard Grant James, visit the website at