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The Winemakers

At the heart of all great wines are great winemakers and this Ramona winery has two of the best around. Meet Turtle Rock Ridge Vineyard Winery’s owners and winemakers Laurie and Ian

headshot of Laurie Wagner, co-owner of the winer

Laurie Wagner

Now I know, I was born to make wine. The first glimmer of this passion for me showed up when I was twelve years old at Abbot Junior High in Elgin, Illinois. My assignment in speech class was to demonstrate how to make or do something. I chose how to make wine and proceeded to teach my entire public school class how Welch’s grape juice can be fermented and made into red wine. Thirty -eight years later life brought me back to winemaking and now it is my daily passion.

I am a firm believer, that there are no mistakes in life and that the past prepared me for where I am today. In college, I studied landscaping and nursery while working for a nursery growing trees and shrubs in the Midwest. After completing my degree in education I spent several years working with the children of Ramona, while raising my own two beautiful children. At the school district I met so many wonderful people and our family really became a part of the Ramona community.

The inspiration to plant grapes on every inch of Turtle Rock Ridge came after the 2007 Witch Creek wildfire. The fire raged across the ridge for three days. Ian and his son Jason were able to save our house from being destroyed. When I returned to a charred landscape and battered house Ian and I made the decision to fill the land with as many grapes as we could possibly fit on our 10 acres. We had studied for two years and attended Ramona Valley Vintner Association meetings to educate ourselves about which grape varieties would grow best in Ramona to create superior wines. Planting grapes and having our own vineyard was a dream come true for me. I was inspired by family trips we made to countries around the Mediterranean, surrounded by beautiful vineyards and fabulous wines we tasted. I love being in the vineyard and tending the grapes from bud break to harvest. Every year it nurtures my love of the vines. The wines that have been handcrafted from our amazing grape vines are truly a labor of love between myself, Ian and Turtle Rock Ridge Vineyard Winery. ~Laurie

Ian Vaux

“Making Dreams Come True” was the tag line I used for my Landscaping business, Vaux Custom Landscaping. I am passionate about helping other people achieve their goals and in turn it has helped me achieve mine. Helping customers build beautiful gardens, landscapes and patios prepared me to build my own dream home one two by four at a time. It was a pleasure to be able to design and build my own home. For over four years my family lived in a travel trailer on the property while we build our house ourselves. In the spring of 2007 we moved into our dream home. Then six months later the Witch Creek Fire came knocking. The fire cleared our land, which was a good thing just not the most desirable way to get it done. Burned but not gone, we began to focus on reinstalling our vineyards and building a winery. Six years later this single minded focus has lead us to be Voted #1 Tasting Room and Wines in 2013 by the Readers Choice Awards in Ramona.

headshot of Ian Vaux, co-owner of the winer
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