Thank you all of the amazing support we have received for our gala this year. We are excited to be declare an early sellout! We hope you can join us next year and in the mean time that you will consider supporting our work. Here is some information on Milagro Farm Vineyards and Winery who will be donating specially paired wine for our farm-to-table dinner this year. Set atop the rolling landscape of the eastern San Diego mountains, Milagro Farm Vineyards & Winery brings estate grown award-winning winemaking to the Ramona Valley. Founded in 2001 by San Diegans Kit and Karen Sickels, Milagro Farm is a “miracle” property. What was once granite fields and oak trees, and having survived two wild fires, is a farm now home to olive trees, apple trees, chickens, turkeys, peacocks, and of course, vineyards.
In production since 2006, Milagro Farm Vineyards has grown under the direction of second generation winemaker Jim Hart from just two varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, to eleven; and from a few hundred cases of wine to a few thousand. Hart brings his lifelong appreciation for and knowledge of wine to Milagro Farm from his family’s winery, Hart Winery in Temecula, CA.
Sustainability at Milagro Farm Vineyards & Winery
The wines produced at Milagro Farm Vineyards benefit from its natural terrain and geographic location. The 100 acre property is nourished by onsite wells which support animals, olive trees, vegetables, fruit trees, herbs and flowers in addition to the vines. Because wine grapes are very drought tolerant the wells are able to supply them with enough water through drip irrigation which then drains through the granitic soil. Most of the nearly twenty acres of vines are planted at 2,400′ elevation 35 miles from the coast and enjoy warm sunny days and cool breezy nights. The winery’s estate grown grapes include barbera, sangiovese, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petite sirah, petit verdot, chardonnay, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc and aleatico.
Sustainability is a key feature of Milagro Farm Vineyards and is all too important in this drought prone region. According to local chef Jeremy Manley, what makes Milagro Farm unique is, “this a sustainable winery: they have their own wells, they crush and harvest all of their own grapes.” Hart explains further that “If you’re talking about a crop that fits in this climate, in this semi-arid climate that we live in, wine grapes are the perfect crop. They don’t take a lot of manipulation of the soil, they don’t take a lot of herbicides or invasive chemicals to farm, and they don’t use a lot of water.” Because the Ramona area is fairly undeveloped there is a persistent issue with wild birds (most notably turkeys) and animals eating grapes off the vines. One of the unique regional features of Ramona vineyards is the omnipresent netting like that used at Milagro Farm. The netting is an example of sustainable farming practices that avoids harming the wild birds, deer and rabbits that are daily visitors to the vineyards.
The Ramona, CA tasting room is open Friday through Sunday and by appointment. Visitors to the winery can spend an afternoon on the patio or in the spacious tasting room to see where the grapes are grown and see the tanks and barrels where the wine is made. This experience provides a true sense of place for Ramona AVA wines. Wines produced from grapes grown right in San Diego pair especially well with the region’s locally grown plentiful fruits, vegetables and meats.