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8 San Diego Uptown News | Sept. 30–Oct.13, 2011


Old world wine in a new San Diego mission atmosphere

Elena Buckley SDUN Reporter

Tammy Rimes and her husband William Holzhauer started small. With the pur- chase of Peruvian Paso horses, land in Ramona and a decision to clear of f the 600 dead apple trees that came along with it, they were truly able to start from scratch. Holzhauer’s idea to plant grapes eventually turned into a whole line of Ha-

cienda de las Rosas wines. The number of horses increased to nine, the business continues to grow and the slogan “drink fine wine, ride fine horses” was born.

Rimes explained that her husband decided to plant grapes “for fun” in 1998, then later decided to get serious about his new endeavor. He took winemaking and grape growing classes at UC Davis, and interned with other wine-


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makers. After the first batch was less than successful, Rimes said her husband began to learn more about not only the science and chemistry of mak- ing wine, but the “magic.” “It’s kind of like how a

grandma cooks,” said Rimes. “She doesn’t use a recipe, she just throws things in there, knows what she’s doing and her meals are fabulous. A really good winemaker, that’s kind of how they are too. Over time they become better and better.” They grow tempranillo, petit syrah, zinfandel and a couple of other small varieties of grapes on their property in order to make both red and white wines. In addition to using their own grapes, Rimes said they buy grapes from other vineyards in San Diego that Holzhauer manages. “We really try to special- ize in San Diego grapes,” said

Winery owners Tammy Rimes and William Holzhauer in their Old Town tasting room. (Courtesy of Hacienda de las Rosas)

Rimes. “In San Diego, most of the family wineries are all small…what’s kind of cool is we all help each other, we all trust one another, we share equipment with one another, so it’s [a] small family farming business.”

They utilize the old world style of winemaking. Rimes explained that her husband prefers to use Old Italian and Spanish winemaking tech-

niques, always using American oak barrels to age his wines instead of French barrels. She said he personally prefers to have the taste of the grapes coming through as much as possible, so he does very light oaking in order to highlight those flavors.

Rimes and Holzhauer mod- eled their winery in Ramona in the style of the first California mission, San Diego de Alcala. The same is true of their tast- ing room in Old Town, within the Fiesta de Reyes plaza at 2754 Calhoun St. After participating in Old

Town’s Stagecoach Days three years ago, the couple brought their wine from Ramona and opened the tasting room. Hacienda de las Rosas offers a tasting of five wines for $9.50 with a complimentary glass, and also has a wine club with special of fers. Throughout the year they host special events, such as their Labor Day grape stomp that they hold on their property, complete with a 120-year-old California red- wood tank and Rimes dressing up as Lucille Ball. The list of events are updated on their website.

Rimes said they plan on opening a second tasting room in Ramona at the winery itself in March, or early April at the latest. This tasting room will be unique, with a special stall built into the room where tasters can see, interact with and learn about one of the family’s horses while they taste. All of the wines are named after the horses. “Maximus, a smoky merlot, is named after our black stallion,” said Rimes. “Vistoso is the oldest horse on the ranch and was a former show champion, and the pep- pery tempranillo is his name- sake. Our newest release, the Spanish grenache, is named after our youngest horse, Espe- ranza, which means ‘hope’.” In the next couple of

weeks, Hacienda de las Rosas will be bottling eight or nine new varietals. Rimes said they just finished harvesting, which will require the barrels to be emptied of their mature wines in order to store the product of the newly harvest- ed grapes.

The tasting room in Old

Town is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more infor- mation about upcoming events or any of the of fered wines, visit or call (619) 840-5579.u

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