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Award-winning Vineyard Hacienda has something for everyone

Tucked between Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego and Jamul, Vineyard Hacienda’s lush landscape lines the 1930s hacienda-styled Spanish estate.

Owner Joseph Harmes III, along with his late mother and grandfather worked together in the 1990s, opening it to the public as a rental space for short and long-term tenants in 2000. Since 2014, Vineyard Hacienda is a nightly accommodation, event venue, and health and wellness retreat.

Harmes said Hacienda has two-acres of vines. It started out as a Bordeaux blend, planting vines in 1998.

“My grandfather loved the idea of a vineyard. He loved agriculture. Wine is something my mother and grandfather were fond of,” he said. “I always wanted to be a good son. That is how I started working on this property because she told me she wanted me to keep it. Back then we planted Cabernet Sauvignon,
Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and a little bit of Zinfandel and made a Bordeaux blend. The blend lasted until around 2014, then some of our vines started getting older, sick, so we started making more single varietal wines. A Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot, but stopped doing the blend. We started seeing more of our vines declining in production, so we planted other types of wines. Sangiovese, Sirah, and in 2021 we added a Malbec. So, the wine will be changing with the evolution of our vineyard.”

Harmes said now, it does wine tasting by appointment.

“The primary business model of Vineyard Hacienda is nightly accommodations using the Airbnb model,” he said. “Every single room has a different theme. We have the Egyptian Pharaohs, Santa Fe Mexican American suite, Merlot Room, Bordeaux Room, Wedgewood Room, International Room, Champagne Room. You can stay seven different nights and have seven different experiences.

“The property itself comes with many blessings,” he said. “We are at one of the lowest points in the valleys. That allows us to work off a well. Our aquafer remains full of water. We are the last property at the end of the driveway, and we merge with the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, so as soon as you enter the property, it is hundreds of acres of privacy and exclusivity. We are very well known as a romantic couple getaway. We have couples that live in San Diego, but they will come and stay with us every month, especially during summer, for the privacy of this staycation getaway. We have had guests from every continent in the world, except we have not gotten any penguins from Antarctica yet.”

Harmes said it also specializes in events and experiences. Mainly weddings, quinceaneras, private parties, health and wellness retreats, and conscious festivals.

“The privacy and setting are amazing,” he said. “In 2019, I started doing health and wellness retreats. In 2020, I planted seven different crystals on the property. Each crystal is attached to a chakra in our body, so we have the root chakra, the sacral chakra, placed in a Metatron grid, a connection between man and divinity between heaven and earth. Every crystal must be set with intention. Our intention is, and what we want for everyone on the property has a lot to do with health, love, peace, abundance, sharing our innate strengths that we are born with. Hopefully, everyone that comes to the property feels that energy or is blessed with that energy.”

Harmes said his passion lies with health and wellness retreats, and it is something that he is growing as the years progress.

“That is everything from diet, mind, body, spirit, habits, in order to become your best self and identify what your best self is,” he said, adding that he is creating three- and seven-night retreats.

In 2022, Vineyard Hacienda earned the Top 10 Winery Wedding Venue in the county, and received multiple awards over the last nine years, said Harmes.

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