About Us

Orfila Vineyards & Winery

An ultra-premium, small production winery nestled in the picturesque San Pasqual Valley, just 30 minutes from San Diego, on the way to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.orfila signThe tasting room overlooks the 70 acre estate. Since 1994, Orfila has been producing critically acclaimed wines using Rhone, Italian, Burgundy and Bordeaux varietals from the estate and from specially selected vineyards in Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties. A favorite venue for picnicking, weddings, anniversary parties, corporate events, fundraisers, and all types of community revelry.

Orfila wines are available at the winery’s tasting room which overlooks the 70-acre estate, at select wine merchants and restaurants (via distributors and exports), through membership in the Orfila Wine Lovers (OWL) Club, and right here.

Since its opening in 1994, Orfila Vineyards has been the recipient of more than 1,300 medals in major national and international competitions – a testament to the complexity, grace and opulence of its wines.

The winery has been adopted by San Diego as a favorite venue for celebrations. It has beautiful facilities for weddings, anniversary parties, corporate events, fundraisers and all types of community revelry.

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San Diego was California’s First Wine County

California’s multi-billion dollar wine industry traces its roots to San Diego County. Father Junipero Serra established San Diego de Alcala, California’s first mission located about 23 miles south of Orfila Vineyards and Winery, and planted vines there in 1769. Grapes have been growing at this location since 1973, initially as the San Pasqual Winery and then as Thomas Jaeger Winery. Orfila Vineyards and Winery was established in 1993 when Proprietor Ambassador Alejandro Orfila purchased Thomas Jaeger Winery.

Orfila Vineyards is a 70-acre estate that grows premium wine grapes in the San Pasqual Valley, located in a 10,000-acre agricultural preserve owned by the City of San Diego. The picturesque hillside estate is 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 500 feet. The cool ocean breezes and morning fog create classic wine growing conditions.

Extensive research and experimentation has resulted in the current successful vineyard configuration. Because of such attention to detail and appreciation of the best way to use this land, Orfila Vineyards has astounded the wine industry with the quality of wines produced with San Diego County grapes.

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Proprietor, Orfila Vineyards & Winery

Ambassador Alejandro Orfila

Alejandro Orfila was born in Mendoza, Argentina, in 1925 to a family that has been involved in winemaking for four generations. In 1905, his grandfather established Jose Orfila Limited, a winery that still exists today in Argentina. Although he chose a career in diplomacy (his father was governor of the Argentine state of Mendoza), he never lost his interest in viticulture. Orfila studied Law at the University of Buenos Aires. Later, he studied political science at Stanford University in California and foreign trade at Tulane University in Louisiana.

In 1946, he was nominated Embassy Secretary in the Argentine Foreign Service and served in many different embassies and consulates of Argentina. He was appointed Argentine Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States and served in that post until 1960. That year he was appointed Argentine Ambassador to Japan where he remained until he retired to private life in 1963. For the following ten years, Ambassador Orfila acted as a consultant in the field of international finances and economic affairs, based in Washington, D.C.

In November 1973, Ambassador Orfila was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Argentina to the United States and served in this capacity until July 1975. At that time, he was elected to his first term as Secretary General of the Organization of American States by its General Assembly and re-elected to a second five-year term in October 1979.

After his retirement from the Organization of American States, Ambassador Orfila re-entered the business world as a consultant and investor in the field of international finances and real estate. In August 1989, Ambassador Orfila and his wife, Helga Leifeld, moved to Rancho Santa Fe, California, where he engaged in real estate and community activities and purchased Orfila Vineyards & Winery in April 1994.

Ambassador Orfila has been decorated by a number of European, Latin American and Asian governments and has received honorary degrees from universities in the United States and Latin America.


Winemaking Philosophy

Our goal is to create wines of classic beauty — wines with balance, complexity and harmony. Our signature style has often been described as “an iron fist in a velvet glove,” a reference to the artful balance between ripeness and restraint, softness and structure...

The Team

Justin Mund
Justin Mund
Wine Maker / General Manager
Steffi Habermann
Steffi Habermann
Events Manager
Erik Knooihuizen
Erik Knooihuizen
OWL Club Manager
Josh Sarver
Josh Sarver
Tasting Room Manager

Orfila Wine Lover’s Club

Story Behind The Owl

Animals are on nearly everyone’s mind when they drive to the San Pasqual Valley, home to Orfila Vineyards and the famed San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Most visitors are focused on the lions, tigers and bears in the park, but the local falcons, bats and barn owls are more important to the local environment. Visitors often notice the “owl boxes” that are strategically positioned in the vineyard. Each barn owl box provides a place for the barn owls to roost in the fall and a safe place to nest and raise a family of owlets (5-7 per box) in the spring. The IPM program is part of our efforts to support sustainable watershed management and be both good neighbors and good caretakers of the

Where To Find Us

Tasting Room, Escondido

Open Daily 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
13455 San Pasqual Road,
Escondido, CA 92025

(760) 738-6500

Tasting Room, Julian

Open Th to M 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
2000 Main Street
Julian, CA 92036

(760) 765-0102