The People


Craig Jaffurs

Founder

Regarded as a trailblazer for making Rhône varietal wines in Santa Barbara, Craig released his first commercial wine in 1994.  He won high praise on this very first vintage from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.  Since then, he has earned widespread recognition for his wines, most notably Syrah, Grenache and Petite Sirah. In the industry Craig is known as a winemaker of integrity, humility and a master in the vineyard.  Recently retired, he continues to support Jaffurs as a member of the Advisory Board.

Dan Green

Owner/ Executive Winemaker (Burgundian Varietals)

A city boy for most of his life, Dan knew that he needed to get his hands dirty to truly learn the art of winemaking. In 2010 he moved his young family to Fresno and enrolled in Cal State’s Enology program.  After working his way through harvests up and down California, Dan’s journey ultimately led him to Jaffurs.  In 2016 he took over the business from Craig, rounding out his hands-on education.  Dan’s passion for wine began at the dinner table where he learned to appreciate varietals from around the world.  Today, he still believes that wine’s true value is that it brings people together, and is always better when shared.  At Jaffurs he and his wife Janelle continue the tradition of family wine-making started by the Jaffurs family over two decades ago.
Contact: dan@jaffurswine.com

Janelle Green

Owner/ General Manager

A honeymoon to Burgundy, a dinner with aged Bordeaux, and a summer living on a vineyard with a newborn, Janelle fell in love with wine as she fell in love with her family. Fully committed to both motherhood and the wine industry, she performs many of the day-day management tasks of the business and is a critical voice leading Jaffurs moving forward.  Her discerning white-wine palette often serves as a tough test for her husband’s winemaking.
Contact: janelle@jaffurswine.com

Stephen Searle

Head Winemaker (Rhone Varietals)

Stephen’s wine journey began in Boston, waiting tables in the city’s vibrant restaurant scene while studying music. He quickly discovered a strong affinity for wine, and traded one passion for another, transferring into the Enology program at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After several years in the California wine industry, and many wine trips throughout Europe and the Southern Hemisphere, Stephen settled in Santa Barbara, inspired by nuanced, cool-climate winemaking styles. With Jaffurs since 2012, he now leads the production team as our Winemaker with a quiet confidence and clear vision. Through diligence in the vineyard, harvesting at optimal balance of ripeness and minimal handling in the cellar, Stephen strives to produce wines of both power and clarity, allowing the complexities of each vineyard and vintage to shine over the hand of the winemaker.  Contact: stephen@jaffurswine.com

Jason Liehr

Cellar Master

He started with Jaffurs as an intern for the 2016 harvest.  In 2017, Jason returned to Jaffurs full-time after chasing the harvest in Western Austrailia.  His passion for winemaking was initially sparked during a UCSB undergraduate organic chemistry course on fermentation. From there he was hooked, studying as much as he could about wine and fermentations.  He has since found his feet in the cellar, diligently monitoring the Jaffurs wines in both fermenters and barrel.  He brings an infectious enthusiasm that is contagious in the winery. 
Contact: jason@jaffurswine.com 

Miranda Mendibles

Tasting Room Manager

Miranda started at Jaffurs in 2014 as a harvest intern. In no time at all, her passion and commitment to learning all things wine propelled her to Tasting Room Manager. Miranda’s warm smile and impressive wine repertoire make guests feel welcome and at ease for a truly genuine tasting experience.  During harvest she is a critical part of the production team, often the first to jump into a bin of grapes and making sure that no task is left unfinished.
Contact: miranda@jaffurswine.com

Nancy Vergara

Wine Club Coordinator

Nancy runs the Jaffurs wine club with exceptional attention to detail and impeccable hospitality.  Once a long-time editor for a local publishing house, Nancy has brought her editing skills to the winery, overseeing our customer correspondence and quarterly newsletter publications.  She is a quiet, reassuring presence guiding our customers through the Jaffurs experience and acting as a personal concierge to our club members.
Contact: nancy@jaffurswine.com

Carey Villasenor

Hospitality & Operations Manager

Carey found his love of wine while serving in the Navy, and had the opportunity to experience wines from around the world.  After some time spent traveling and going to school, he moved to Santa Barbara in 2007…and immediately fell in love with the local wines from the region.  He found his first job working as an associate at Roblar, and later became the Sales & Operations Coordinator for Ken Volk.  Working at Kenneth Volk Vineyards allowed Carey to gain valuable experience in many facets of the wine world, and it is because of this that we welcome Carey back to the Jaffurs team.
Contact: carey@jaffurswine.com