25 RSF Vineyards Band Together to Form Vintners Association


As I wrote last year, Rancho Santa Fe is a burgeoning wine growing region. There are over 25 active vineyards in Rancho, with a total annual capacity of around 20,000 wine bottles. That’s a lot of wine!

Map of the RSF Covenant and location of vineyards.

Local vineyards have banded together to create a Rancho Santa Fe AVA (American Viticulture Area). An AVA is a federally recognized wine growing region that winemakers use as a marketing brand on their labels, etc. This is a similar concept to the French AOC regions which identify wines as coming from a particular geographic region (eg. Pauillac AOC).

Local vintners Jon Williams and David Gamboa presented to the RSF Association board at last week’s board meeting touting the advantages of creating an RSF AVA.

Having a Rancho Santa Fe AVA will put one more feather in Rancho’s cap when it comes to marketing our properties. We are already well know as an equestrian region and thus also being known as a wine growing region will presumably further enhance real estate values.

They pointed out that encouraging vineyards as a replacement to citrus orchards would significantly reduce water consumption as they consume about 50% less water. Vineyards are also fire safe in that they can be used a fire breaks during a wildfire.

Getting federally certified is a long process that will take years. This short powerpoint presentation pitches the concept of an RSF AVA and the process needed to create one. The expected time for federal recognition is three to five years.

The presentation envisions asking the Association for help to defray the expected $40K cost to apply for an AVA designation and/or give their blessing.

By the way, Jon Williams’ wine, The Cov, is now available in the RSF Golf Club restaurant.

A high resolution version of the above California wine growing region map can be downloaded from this page (scroll down to bottom).