Years of preparation paid off for Dennis and Sherry McGrath when they opened their Scenic Valley Cattle Ranch Vineyard in Ramona on Memorial Day weekend.Their calling to end up being vintners started more than a years back when Sherry McGrath took a course called Cause and Effect from a sommelier at a red wine bar in Lake Havasu City. The class taught her how food affects white wine and how red wine affects food, and how some red wines can taste fantastic when coupled with the appropriate cuisine.
“It stimulated my interest and I wished to find out more and more,” said McGrath, who found out there’s a lot more to white wine than opening a bottle and drinking it. “We have actually been educating ourselves with books and the Internet. We’re constantly trying to find out more about the business, wineries and viticulture.”
She took her research studies to the next level when she enrolled in a series of classes on the topic at San Diego State University. She earned her Expert Certificate in the Business of Red Wine in October 2015.
Her curiosity combined with her hubby’s interest in operating in the food and white wine service industry when the duo traveled the United States, entering barbecue competitors along the method. At their peak of success, the barbecue team referred to as the “Porketeers” won top place in the brisket category at a Jack Daniels Invitational in Lynchburg, Tenn., McGrath said.
“Part of the reason we slowed down with that was because of COVID, however also because we bought our Ramona property in 2018,” she stated.
Picturesque Valley Ranch Vineyard at 27012 Scenic Valley Road is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays.
(Courtesy Sherry McGrath)
When the McGraths became severe about opening their own winery, they took a look at residential or commercial properties from Potrero to outside California. What swayed them into purchasing their 11-acre website off state Path 78 across from Golden Eagle Ranch was the area’s growing prominence as an American Viticultural Area. AVAs promote growing red wine grapes and the industry of running wineries, and the McGraths were drawn to Ramona’s rise as an AVA desiring become like Paso Robles, Sonoma and Napa.
The McGraths likewise liked that their residential or commercial property at 27012 Scenic Valley Road came with Flame Tokay grapevines planted in the 1930s. The beautiful vines grow naturally, without watering, and are utilized to make an unusual varietal, Sherry said.In 2019, the couple went to work planting 3 acres of their own vines, including Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah and Albarino. The next year they ended up being certified wine makers and produced their first commercial wines. A few of the early wines were made with grapes purchased at regional Ramona vineyards and other wines were made with their estate grown Flame Tokay grapes. In 2021 and 2022, they continued their wine-making endeavors.
3 acres of the McGraths’ 11-acre home off state Route 78 are planted with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah and Albarino.
(Courtesy Sherry McGrath)
A few of their red wines were a success at the 2020 San Francisco International Red Wine Competition. Because contest, Scenic Valley Ranch’s 2020 Cabernet Franc and 2020 Small Sirah each won a bronze medal.
“We were quite thrilled,” Sherry McGrath said. “The truth that we scored so well in the competition revealed us that we were on the right track. That was a global red wine competitors, so we were judged not simply versus red wines in the United States, however also against worldwide wines.”
Growing grapes in a location with hot days and cooler nights has actually been worthwhile for the McGraths, whose wine tasting patio area is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Although the couple are keeping their day tasks– Dennis McGrath is a Downtown San Diego steakhouse manager and his spouse is a physical therapist assistant– they’re setting their sights on broadening with Sunday hours in the summertime and taking a more active interest in producing wines.For more info about Picturesque Valley Cattle ranch Vineyard, call 619-884-3514. Beautiful Valley Cattle ranch’s 2020 Cabernet Franc and
2020 Small Sirah each won a bronze medal in the 2020 San Francisco International Wine Competitors. (Courtesy Sherry McGrath)