In 2006 Ramona vintners succeeded in getting their own appellation; Ramona is now an American Vinticultural Area (AVA). An AVA designates a wine-growing region geographically, historically, and for its climate and soil. Presently the Ramona Vineyard Association lists 55 members within the AVA, including 15 licensed and bonded wineries. Prior to this year there were very few tasting rooms in the area because small wineries had to obtain a Major Use Permit, which currently costs $250,000, in order to open their doors to the public. Ramona winemakers organized and worked with the county’s Board of Supervisors to pass, in August 2010, a tiered ordinance under which wine tasting rooms are permitted by right of agricultural zoning, just as farm stands are. The ordinance has since been challenged in court by claimants who argue that wine tasting is a “new agricultural use” of the land. But as the appeal process drags on, the tasting rooms are popping up. Seven currently keep established business hours and several more are open by appointment.