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It's A Team Effort At Orfila Winery In Escondido

Photo by Robin Dohrn-Simpson

At a recent wine dinner at Orfila Winery, I was reminded that good food, good wine and laughter go together. The Orfila Winery management team knows how to make people feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.

The good food was supplied by Mark Kuhlmann, owner of Culinary Underground. A native of New Orleans where life is about food, he says “It’s all about love. Food is love.” And he showed us that with our dinner. He even made me “love” his mushroom soup, and I don’t do mushrooms. Mark specializes in cooking for small groups and private events. After visiting Suzie’s Farm, an organic farm in south San Diego where he buys his produce, he set his menu. We started with organic arugula salad with pears, prosciutto and aged gouda, paired with 2008 Coastal Cuvee Chardonnay and moved on to fresh mushroom and watercress soup paired with 2007 Estate Sangiovese. The main course was Tuscan-style roast pork with rosemary, sage and garlic with baby veggies and fingerling potatoes, paired with 2008 Estate Ambassador’s Reserve Merlot. Oh, but there’s still dessert, Mark’s signature New Orleans bread pudding with warm brandy sauce paired with California Tawny Port ended our fabulous meal.

The vision of Orfila’s wines was supplied by new winemaker Justin Mund. His goal: 90-point scores to put Southern California wines on the map. Another vision is taking Orfila nationwide. He plans on making a great product to entice enthusiasts countrywide to enjoy his wines.

Orfila tasting room manager, Scott Ledbetter, has the vision to offer a unique winetasting experience to patrons. He has created a separate tasting area for wine club members offering cheeses and meat to enhance their wines. A recent transplant from Napa, Scott shares stories of growing up in a wine family. He claims that his first daycare facility he attended was at Carl Rossi Winery. A former pastry chef at the Culinary Institute of Napa, for Scott, it’s all about food pairings. Watch for him to expand the exposure of the winery in San Diego County and the country.

Orfila Winery is well poised to continue their success and bring food, wine and laughter to everyone’s lives. Visit the Orfila tasting room and try their wines, enjoy the patio and say hi to the staff. Keep your eye out for their new releases, they promise to be surprising.


Details »
  • City: Escondido
  • Phone: (760) 738-6500
  • Name: Orfila Winery
  • Address: 13455 San Pasqual Rd