About Hillside Ranch

In the summer of 1971, Bill and Donna Hendrix purchased a dream: A 55-acre scorched piece of rural land in Jamul, California.  All that remained after the Laguna Fire was a 900-square foot house, rusted farm equipment, and a grove of charred oak and pine trees. The hope of converting this rugged piece of property into a working ranch was their inspiration. Tackling one improvement project at a time, Hillside Ranch gradually began to look like a page out of Farm & Garden magazine…sheep grazing on  irrigated pastures, horses and cows roaming freely on a large fenced parcel and pigs nesting in their enclosure.  On the barn hung a 4-H sign indicating that their two young children, Karri and Blair were proud members. With the really hard work behind them, Hillside Ranch secured its lasting roots for future generations to experience.  

Our Vision for Hillside

In 1980, construction began on the main house.  Donna, an interior designer and Bill, an oral surgeon/rancher/engineer, designed and supervised construction of this open concept, hacienda style home with an inner courtyard.  Over the next 30 years, additions and improvements were made while hosting multiple celebrations, including their daughter’s wedding and their own 50th wedding anniversary.   Its  warmth and eclectic decor was inspired by a deeply rooted family history and a love of Jamul’s rural community.  Bill, after a long battle with cancer, passed away in 2015, but Donna has kept their dream alive and continues to provide work and a place to live for their employees of 30 + years.



After investigating several crops that could be grown on the property, wine grapes were selected. The well-draining granite soil, the cool off shore breezes, and the long sunny days are ideal conditions for growing grapes. With the help of wine growing consultants, Grant Spotts and Sarah Babine, two and half acres of formerly arid, rocky land have been converted to a flourishing vineyard.  A newly organized local vintners association, The Wineries on Highway 94, is marketing the area’s local wineries and tasting rooms to both tourists and residents in San Diego. The guesthouse and future Hillside Ranch Vineyard Tasting Room are now finished and function well for family celebrations, corporate and community events and weddings.

Interested in stopping by? 

We would love to have you come by to view our venue space, view our vineyards, and eventually, sample our wine!