San Diego’s Backcountry Wine and Dine Pairing

A World of Flavors

This summer featured Traveling Around the World with Food and Wine, the second installment to compare and contrast wines from around the globe. Fresh from a journey to Italy, Ramona Ranch Winery co-owner and President Teri Kerns and co-owner and Winemaker Micole Moore partnered with Farmhouse 78 Restaurant in Santa Ysabel to explore wines from Italy and Ramona.

This warm summer evening food and wine lovers gathered at Farmhouse 78 Restaurant to enjoy a five-course Italian meal and two types of the same wine for each course; one from Ramona and one from Italy. This is such a fun event and helpful to experience the nuances and flavors of local and international wines.

Beautiful country table setting
Teri Kerns, from Ramona Ranch, is our Wine Presenter tonight

Some highlights of this delicious and creative dinner were Course #1 Apertivo: Focaccia bread, nuts, garlic orange rosemary marinated olives paired with Ramona Ranch Super Tuscan Reserve (a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Aglianico) and Bell ‘Aja Bolgher (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot)  from Tuscany Italy.

Course #2 was very unexpected: Antipasti of Batter-fried Roman Artichoke with Lemon Aioli. We found out that Sangiovese pairs nicely with lemons. The two Sangioveses featured were Ramona Ranch 2019 and Felice Rosso di Montalcino from Tuscany Italy. The strawberry and sour cherry flavors of Ramona’s contrast with the Italian wine with fragrances of cherry, blackberry, and cedar wood.

Roman Artichoke with Lemon Aioli

The fourth course was Beef Braciole with Parmesan Polenta, Burst Cherry Tomato and Red Wine Ragu. Beef Braciole is an Italian-style roulade, rolled and stuffed meat, pounded thin and stuffed with prosciutto, breadcrumbs and cheese. This dish can handle a big wine paired with Ramona Ranch Aglianico and La Fortezza Aglianico from Campania, Italy. Aglianico is a complex wine with flavors of leather and white pepper, ending with a dark cherry and blackberry finish.

San Diegans, when heading out to the backcountry to go apple picking or hike in the mountains around Julian, stop at Farmhouse 78 Country Eatery located next to the famous Dudley’s Bakery. Chef-owner John Little is a well-known chef in Ramona and its environs. You will enjoy a very creative menu. He also owns John Little Catering where he delights customers with food for any event around the Santa Ysabel Valley and Ramona Valley.  Farmhouse 78 is open Wednesday through Sunday. They serve breakfast on the weekends, lunch, and an early dinner. Located at 30270 State Highway 78, Santa Ysabel, you can call for reservations at 760-782-2729.  For the menu and other details go to: 

Ramona Ranch Winery, the only Certified Sustainable winery in the valley, is open Friday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Visit them and enjoy their new TasteSpace and patio overlooking the scenic Ramona Valley. Located at 23578 Highway 78 outside of Ramona. To read their story and see their wines go to:

Winemaker and Co-Owner of Ramona Ranch Winery, Micole Moore discusses his wine with the diners.
Chef and owner of Farmhouse 78 John Little visits with a guest

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