To Top

Daily Inspiration: Meet Teri Kerns

Today we’d like to introduce you to Teri Kerns.

Hi Teri, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I own and co-founded Ramona Ranch Winery, a vineyard, winery and farm located in the San Diego Foothills with my husband, Micole Moore. Since our inception in 2004, we have focused on sustainability and are San Diego County’s only Certified Sustainable Vineyard and Winery.

Our focus is on offering wines from a specific vineyard, and type of grape, referred to as “vineyard specific, single varietal wines.” We also make interesting blends, like “Super Tuscan,” and consistently bring home gold medals for our wines. At the winery, which is located at our home, we have an outdoor view terrace where guests can savor a glass of wine while enjoying the views, and nearby insectary, which invites beneficial bugs and birds to improve the bio-diversity of the farm. We are recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, with a natural riparian area, the quail covey’s are thriving in the vineyards, along with a family of California Greater Roadrunners, red-tail and cooper hawks, and the occasional golden eagle or snowy egret flying by. I’m originally from the Oregon Coast, and landed in San Diego as part of my time in the US Navy, and am currently working in the Health Care Industry while growing our family business and future.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We came into the wine industry as pioneers, as part of a new American Vinicultural Area, or AVA, and along with our peers and neighbors are first generation wine stewards, primarily self-taught grape growers, wine-makers, and tasting room managers. This sharp learning curve, while working full-time has resulted in a process of continual improvement and the need to stay flexible, think of new ways to adapt to the changing restrictions, and build a business that will be self-sustaining and an important part of the local community. We are self-funding, trying to pay as we go, rather than incur debt, which has slowed our growth but allowed us to focus on quality and learning.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I signed up to join the US Navy while I was a senior in high school, growing up on a small farm in a logging and fishing community on the Oregon Coast. My family was not in the position to send me to college, and the Navy had the lure of both travel and education. I learned quickly that to get ahead in the Navy, one had to work hard, show initiative, and follow directions, all skills that I believe apply well to the wine-industry, along with a measured dose of patience. While on active duty, I attended night school, receiving my Bachelor’s degree in business, while moving up in the ranks, from E1 to E6, serving as an Aviation Storekeeper in supply and logistics. After nine years on active duty, I decided to transition to the reserves, landing an entry management position in the San Diego area. While active in the reserves and continuing to attend night school, I worked my way up in the company while receiving my Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and commission as a General Unrestricted Line Officer in the ready reserve. I now am honored to work for Health Net Federal Service, focusing on TRICARE, serving military beneficiaries, and continuing to support the mission.

About 15 years ago, we decided to move back to the Country, choosing the small town of Ramona, located in the San Diego foothills, knowing I wanted to again be involved in agriculture, I was excited to learn that vineyards were being planted, and Ramona was recognized as an American Viticultural Area, or AVA in 2006. I soon joined the board of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA), planted our first vineyard, and began making hobby wines with my husband, Micole. Over the past few years, we’ve transitioned this hobby into a growing business and are now open to the public, serving handcrafted wines made with grapes from the beautiful vineyards of San Diego County, like our Double-Gold Estate Tannat, Gold-Medal winning Reserve Sangiovese and smooth drinking red blends. White wines include Sauvignon Blanc, a Barrel-aged Viognier and a food-friendly white blend called “Burlesque.” Our vineyard and winery practices the long-term effects of thoughtful viticulture and our stewardship will benefit all creatures and our wines to come. H

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Sustainability and honoring our land is important to me and make me happy. When I walk around and hear bees buzzing, frogs croaking and birds chirping, I feel at peace and want to share this peace with others. Our winery, Ramona Ranch is San Diego’s only certified sustainable vineyard and winery. Planting insect, bird and butterfly zones while installing owl boxes makes our winery more inviting to wildlife and helps us to be greener while saving time in the long run to enjoy time outside. Native, drought tolerant plants thrive and attract beneficial wildlife while drip irrigation, composting, and hand management of our vineyards results in a balanced crop load and superior wines, which I love to share with old and new friends.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Laurel Costa

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in