Written by The Business Journal Staff
Name: Oscar Ramos
Company: Ramos Torres Winery
What we do: Winery, winemaking
Education: California State University, Fresno, 2003 BS Enology
I know you’re Oscar Ramos, but who is Torres?
Ramos Torres is my (full) last name. Torres is my mother’s maiden name.
How many people work for Ramos Torres?
Two people other than myself.
You have a deal pending with Sam’s Italian Deli & Market in Fresno to feature your wines. What similar promotions do you plan to grow your reputation, Ramos?
Our approach is not a hard sell because we let our product speak for itself. Our idea is that if we can do a good job at making wine then it’s really up to the consumer to decide our place in this industry.
You occasionally have artist exhibitions at your Kingsburg tasting room featuring local cheeses from Traver and other goodies. How did those events get started, Ramos?
Our events get their start by promoting like minded artists, whether they use canvas, cheese cloths or grapes.
The Central Valley is starting to assert itself as a serious winemaking region. What is your enological approach to competing with Napa and Sonoma and creating a brand-friendly identity for local grappa, Ramos?
As more educated and experienced winemakers decide to stay and make wine in the central section of the San Joaquin Valley, you will see a leap in serious wine contenders coming from this region.
Our approach is to make a product that is within the boundaries of quality and careful planning. We make wine how one would expect to make wine in any of the more well known premium wine regions. Choosing cool ingredients (yeast, barrels, etc.) and deciding what must be done on a giving varietal once it reaches the winery.
Every year is different, and so are the grape varieties, and so should be the winemaking direction. So one must impart on a patch of wine ideas to achieve maximum quality and stylistic approach based on the conditions of the harvest and vintage.
Conversely, what sets you apart from other local winemakers and makes your product truly “premium”, Ramos?
I truly believe that we are trying to make our wines stand out, and our focus is our wine. Winemaking starts in the vineyard, and by choosing great vineyards, that facilitates my approach as a winemaker. Conveying that message is where our challenge begins. By proving ourselves through accolades and keeping within the boundaries of quality, we then can educate on our style and purpose.
You’ve mentioned that the only really local wine you make with close-at-hand grapes is your Fasi Vineyard Syrah, which uses grapes from Madera. Will you use other grapes from Fresno, Kings, Madera or Tulare counties in upcoming vintages, Ramos?
Yes, but it’s a secret. We will soon release two wines from two local vineyards, it’s going to be very cool. Keep on the lookout.
Some Fresno County wineries banded together to create the Twin Rivers Vintners group, which they hope will merit a viticultural area designation, Ramos. Is the Blossom Trail Wineries group that you are part of plotting something similar?
Very similar. But for now, we just provide our patrons with really good wine.
What was your first job and how did you learn from it, Ramos?
My first job was in the vineyard, irrigating with my father at the age of 5. He had to handcraft a special valve opener that matched my height so I could more effectively do my job. What I learned from my childhood experiences is that for everything that is done correctly, one can then reap the fruit of one’s labor. In my current case, sourcing good clean fruit and focusing on good winemaking practices has proved to work.