First vintage from student-managed Orange Vista High School vineyard soon to be bottled
Temecula Valley, CA, May 2, 2022 – Doffo Winery, the Temecula Valley Southern California Winery known for their premium wines, on-site vintage motorcycle collection, and unique wine experiences, today announced the first vintage of wine from its unique viticultural partnership with Orange Vista High School (OVHS) and the Val Verde Unified School District. The award-winning winery will launch a series of events and fundraising efforts surrounding this innovative program.
In 2018, what started as an over-the-fence conversation between Doffo CEO and winemaker Damian Doffo and his neighbor Lou Randall, then Assistant Principal at OVHS in neighboring Perris, California, turned into an exciting program aimed at introducing a younger generation to hands-on farming, chemistry, and biology through real work in a vineyard. OVHS soon became home to 980 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, donated by Wonderful Nurseries, and planted by students and faculty that May.
The first vintage was harvested in 2020, produced at Doffo, and has spent the past 18 months maturing in barrel at the winery. Damian feels they are nearly ready to bottle, and will release the limited-edition wine for sale this summer, with a portion of proceeds going back to the school. They will also host a fundraising gala for the program on Saturday, August 6.
“2022 marks Doffo Winery’s 25th Anniversary, so the timing to launch this wine that has become such a special project to our family feels even more exciting,” said Damian. “The concept of legacy is very important to us at Doffo. To be able to spark interest in agriculture and the many opportunities out there in viticulture and winemaking through this partnership for the next generation is extremely rewarding.”
More than just a fun agricultural activity, the Doffo program incorporates many different technical and educational components that work in tandem. From the growing and maintenance of the vines through the viticulture program, to a video production program that documents the entire life of a grape from seed to bottle, to the engineering and manufacturing program that gets students certified with the FAA Part 107 to operate drones in the vineyard, to the graphics and design program, which is running a design competition for the bottle label, students are getting a hands-on look at everything that goes into producing a finished bottle of wine.
“Viticulture gave us the opportunity to provide a project that all career & technical education [CTE] programs at Orange Vista could participate in,” said Doug Henderson, Director of the STEAM and CTE programs at Val Verde Unified School District. “Over the last four years we have had over 600 students involved in our viticulture pathway. Students love the opportunity to get their hands dirty and apply what they are learning in the classroom. We have plans to expand the number of students and CTE programs that are involved in the viticulture pathway.”
100 cases of the inaugural wine will be bottled in July 2022 to be released in August.
About Doffo Winery
Founded by Marcelo Doffo in 1997, Doffo Winery sits in the hills of Southern California’s Temecula Valley. This family owned and operated winery produces many award-winning wines and has earned a stellar reputation in the region for its Malbec, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and its unique red blends.
About Val Verde Unified School District
Val Verde Unified School District is located in the heart of the Inland Empire, approximately 72 miles east of Los Angeles. Neighboring the district and its communities are March Air Force Base and the Lake Perris recreational area. Val Verde Unified School District’s schools serve more than 20,245 students residing in the rural and suburban communities of Perris, Moreno Valley, and portions of unincorporated Riverside County. The district currently operates a preschool, 12 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 3 comprehensive high schools, a student success academy, a virtual academy, and a continuation high school.