In the 1990s Mario Bergeron was a wine broker in San Diego. Then he and his wife Diana started a successful custom bottle etching business in Napa. Mario learned winemaking to complement what they were doing, so they could fill the bottles themselves. In time the Bergerons migrated back to San Diego County and became the proprietors of an overgrown eight-acre citrus farm in Ramona. “We were so busy we didn’t even meet our neighbors for two years!” Mario told us. They’ve maintained their etching business and slowly transformed their land into a lush and beautiful estate, planting two acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes in the process. La Finquita’s first estate-grown “Vista Ramona” wine will come next year.
Mario poured us a “Blanc du Champ” Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc/Chenin Blanc blend. Next we tried a 2005 Merlot from Napa grapes: spicy nose, dry finish. The 2006 Napa Cabernet has nice tannins; 2008 Suisun Valley Zinfandel is fruity and sweet-spicy, but with a dry finish. Also in the winery’s current collection are a 2008 Napa Syrah and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from Valley Center fruit.