By Becky Cullen
It was a beautiful day for a horseback ride to five wineries on the west end of Ramona. Matt and Carly Deskovick, owners of Catt Farm and Ranch Supply in Ramona, let 19 riders stage horse trailers at their ranch, Kendison Farms.
Ramona Trails Association sponsored the ride. All proceeds from the tickets went to RTA, an organization that with founders John and Arvie Degenfelder and its many volunteers has been the reason that Ramona has so many public trails for equestrians, mountain bikers and hikers.
All of their hard work has paid off for the pleasure of all trail users.
Riders came from Ramona, Julian, Lakeside, La Mesa, Coronado — and even a man visiting from Germany. Several were from the Lakeside Frontier Riders club. Ramonan Jama McCluskey gave out goodie bags she put together from Catt Farm and Ranch Supply for all the riders. Cactus Star Vineyard at Scaredy Cat Ranch Winery provided each rider with a wine-colored bandana so that the wineries would know they were part of the group and ready to taste. Riders also received $10 gift certificates to Catt Farm and Ranch Supply.
Seventeen horses and two mules carried their loved ones around to the west end wineries. Starting from the ranch at Kendison Farms, they saw the Coyote Canyon Heritage Herd Mustangs grazing in their pasture and were heartily greeted by their herd “boss,” the donkey.
They set out for Kohill Winery for their first 1-ounce taste. Mike and Aurora Kopp, winemaker and owners, came out to greet them. They went into the wineries in two shifts so someone could watch the horses while the others tasted and talked to each winemaker. From Kohill, they road through Hacienda de las Rosas Winery to see the beautiful Peruvian Paso horse ranch. Then, it was on to Woof ‘n Rose Winery for their second taste. Steve and Marilyn Kahle, winemaker and owners, gave a little history of their winery while they poured. We set out to Cactus Star Vineyard at Scaredy Cat Ranch for their third taste with Joe and Becky Cullen, winemaker and owners, introducing them to thewines.
The horses and humans got a drink of water before taking off to Principe di Tricase located at Highland Valley Tree Farm — affectionately known as Pine and Wine — on Whirlwind. Alfredo and Sheila Gallone, winemaker and owners, gave a taste of their wine with a delicious piece of chocolate.
“What’s not to like?” everyone agreed.
From there, they continued past the persimmon farm, where people were picking and purchasing five-gallon buckets of fuyu persimmons to take home.
Most of the riders had never been on the west end of Ramona and commented on the beautiful views everywhere they looked. They never had to cross any major roads either — thanks, RTA. Terry Jorgensen was the designated trail boss.
Joe Cullen volunteered to pick up and deliver the purchased wines from the wineries to the horse trailers so people could take home their treasures of Ramona wines. He also brought in the sandwiches and desserts for the instant “chuck wagon.”
When they arrived back at the ranch, they unsaddled their horses or donkeys and gathered chairs under Terry Jorgensen’s awning at her horse trailer for lunch provided as part of the trail ride.
As people left, trailer by trailer, each waved and tooted their horns as they drove away, the perfect end to a perfect day in Ramona.