Motorcycles and Merlot mix at Long Beach bike show

Motorcycles and Merlot mix at Long Beach bike show
Doffo Winery had wine and a collection of classic motorcycles belonging to founder Marcelo Doffo to show at the Long Beach bike show. (Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Booze and bikes don't generally mix, but they will appear together at the upcoming Progressive International Motorcycle Show, where a collection of vintage motorcycles will share floor space with cases of Malbec and Merlot.

Both are part of the Doffo Winery display, the first time that a vintner has been part of this annual motorcycle gathering.


Wine and motorcycles are twin passions of the Doffo men, father and son, Marcello and Damian. They and other family members run the Temecula-based winery, and they're bike nuts.

"Both my father and I ride, and we both race," Damian said. "We've always been into motorcycles."

The 20 MotoDoffo motorcycles on display — a group that includes a Gilera Saturno 500, a pair of Ducati Formula 3 race bikes and a very rare Yamaha TD2 — are a few of the 180 machines that Damian Doffo estimates are scattered around the winery.

Each has a history and many have deep personal connections to the family. The Gilera, for example, is a motorcycle that father Marcello knew from his hometown in rural Argentina when he was a little boy.

Many of the vintage Italian motorcycles in the MotoDoffo collection are housed in the winery's barrel room.
Many of the vintage Italian motorcycles in the MotoDoffo collection are housed in the winery's barrel room. (Doffo Winery)

Fifty years after first seeing it, Damian said, his father went back to the little town, tracked the bike down and bought it.

"It's the same one," Damian said. "We have the original receipt of purchase."

The MotoDoffo bikes represent the cream of small-sized motorcycles from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when father Marcello first fell  in love with riding.

"These are the bikes he could never have as a poor boy growing up," Damian said.

Damian explained that his father, as a young man, shared a bedroom with two older relatives. One of them commuted to work on a motorcycle that, every night, was kept chained to a bed in the room.

"He went to bed staring at that motorcycle," Damian said. "When [the relatives] went to town, he would fire it up inside the house."

In Temecula, some motorcycles are displayed outside. Some are on racks inside. Others line the walls of the "MotoBarrel room." Still others are hidden in Marcello's private vault.

"My dad hoards them all for himself, especially the Ducatis," Damian said.

The idea of bringing Doffo wheels and wines to the motorcycle trade show started with an email from one of the show's organizers.

"It started with, 'Can you bring five or six motorcycles,' " Damian said. "Then it was, like, 'How about 12? how about 18?' It's an honor for us to be there, even though it's costing us an arm and a leg to transport the bikes."


The Doffo family will also have wines on display during the three-day Long Beach show, which starts Friday afternoon and ends Sunday evening.

Some of them are prizewinners. Some are quite expensive. At the winery, prices range up to $200 for a bottle of its 2008 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

But Damian said the family discourages drinking and driving, or riding, though few motorcyclists who visit the Moto Doffo collection are inclined that way.

"The people who visit the motorcycles, they usually come on their motorcycles," he said. "That guy is not going to do a wine tasting, nor do we want to push that."

The motorcycles and the wines are available for viewing and tasting, seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There is no admission charge, though visitors may need to ask to have the "barrel room" opened to see the bikes stored there.

"There's really no business plan for MotoDoffo," Damins said. "Except, 'These are our bikes. Come check them out.' "