The passion that exists within every bottle of Doffo wine originates from their Italian ancestors who immigrated to Argentina in the early 1900’s. Marcelo’s grandfather, Bernandino, settled in Pampas, Argentina where he grew wheat, corn and raised cattle. Marcelo grew up on that land and it was there that his love and dedication to the art of cultivation began.
As a young man, Marcelo immigrated to the United States and began a new life journey. In 1985 he visited the old country in the northern region of Turin, Italy and discovered that his great uncle still made estate wine. Marcelo returned home anxious to try his hand at home-made wine. Two years later, in 1997 he was awarded the silver medal from the Orange County Wine Society.
This experience and honor sealed his fate. That same year he purchased an old cattle farm complete with the region’s last remaining historic, one-room school house. The school house reminded him of a similar place he attended as a small child. Starting with bare property, Marcelo painstakingly prepared the soil and installed trellises and irrigation lines by hand. He then planted his first crops consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with a small percentage of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Every step in the cultivation of Doffo wine is hands-on to achieve maximum quality. Four years later, Marcelo was proud to introduce his new wines.
Through this he learned just how difficult and rewarding owning and caring for a vineyard could be. He also learned that with enough perseverance there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. Today Marcelo’s wines are the most sought after in the region. He has a true passion for both wine and racing vintage motorcycles. If you are lucky you might find him in the tasting room talking about both.
As the son of Marcelo Doffo, Damian grew up with farming and wine in his blood. His father Marcelo, a big wine enthusiast, was eager to share his knowledge and family heritage with his son and Damian was eager to learn. In the early days of winemaking in the backyard Damian would help out washing bottles for 10 cents apiece. That was a long time ago and thanks to his father’s mentoring he has since developed into a promising apprentice winemaker. He developed his sophisticated palate drinking big Bordeaux wines but it was his father’s teaching that expanded his knowledge to include all aspects of owning a winery and vineyard. He always knew he would combine his family heritage with his love for big red wines and would one day join the family winery. After graduating with a language degree from Cal Poly, he cut his teeth in corporate sales for 3 years. In early 2010 he joined the family winery on a full time basis and hasn’t looked back.
The days are hard and long, but it is what he loves. As the production manager and assistant winemaker, Damian is proud to carry on the Doffo legacy his father started. When not in the vineyard or wine cellar, he can be found in the tasting room sharing his passion. The focus is on the wines, but the experience you receive at Doffo is very important to the family and especially to Damian.
The Doffo family invites you to visit our charming home and Winery. Nestled on the Northeast border of the Temecula Valley the winery was founded in 1997 by Marcelo Doffo. It is one of a few micro-boutique wineries in the region, and the only one built around the former site of a historic landmark schoolhouse. When selecting the property, Marcelo was drawn to the schoolhouse because it reminded him of his childhood in Argentina where he attended a similar school.
The winery is situated on 15 acres of hand planted vineyards, carefully tended by the Doffo family with techniques handed down from generation to generation. It also consists of wine production facilities, and a charismatic tasting room complete with vintage scooters and motorcycles that come from the family’s private collection. The winery also has a beautiful terraced mesa overlooking the vineyards and surrounding valley. When you visit you will first be met with the sound of classical music throughout the property. They play this to soothe the plants.
Famous for exquisite, handcrafted reds, Doffo is focused on small lot, limited production wines made in the old world style. It is also home to MotoDoffo, the family’s private collection of over 100 racing and vintage motorcycles. The Doffos are proud to share their Argentine and Italian heritage throughout the winery and they hope this translates to your experience.
Visit us once and you are family forever.
Marcelo Doffo with his children. From left to right: Brigitte, Damian, Marcelo and Samantha
Our philosophy has always been that good winemaking begins in the vineyard. We start by hand planting each vine and providing careful attention daily. We prune our vines and thin our grape clusters throughout the growing season to maximize fruit concentration and insure the highest quality in our grapes. We also play classical music in the vineyard to soothe the grapes as they develop and mature. With meticulous care and cultivation we produce intense, rich fruit that truly expresses our commitment towards making world class wines.
The quality of the wine really starts with good farming techniques such as meticulous handcrafting, crop-thinning and minimal irrigation. We play classical music in the vineyard to soothe the plants. All principles that Marcelo learned in his early years on the Argentinian Pampas. He is passing these techniques down from generation
to generation as he works side by side with his son Damian, production director and assistant winemaker.
At Doffo Winery we are focused on producing small lot, hand crafted wines that represent some of the best varietals in the Temecula Valley. The unique micro-climate of the valley drives the characteristics of our wines and plays a distinct role in shaping the final result. Our experience, family traditions and farming techniques combined with the terroir is reflected in our intensely flavored wines of complex structure, texture and bold, rich fruit.