Skip To Main Content

Hafner Vineyard

Our Blog - The Press

Meet the Team - Kate

Patrons regularly tell us that they enjoy hearing about the two dozen members of the Hafner Vineyard Team…those in the vineyard and in the winery…and elsewhere! So we thought it might be fun to share with you a little more about each of us. We invite you to join us as we “Meet the Team” – the people who grow, make and sell Hafner wine.

When you make a suggestion like this blog series to your Uncle (Scott Hafner) and he accepts, you then are the guinea pig… so here we go!

Name: Kate Bernal-Hafner

Number of years at Hafner Vineyard: Officially – 4.5 years, unofficially – 29.5 years

Kate and Alice Sampling GrapesBusy sampling second crop with Alice in 1989.

Department/Role: Sales/Marketing/Social Media/Website/Latte Barista Extraordinaire

Hometown: Healdsburg, CA

What’s something most people don’t know about you? I make my own kombucha.

Favorite local restaurant: Barndiva – for a nice date night. Diavola – for a fun easy going dinner.

Favorite weekend activity: Waking up early and being outdoors with my husband, Martín. In the Winter, we like to go mushroom foraging near the coast, stopping on our way home for a coffee and pastry in a tiny “town” Duncan’s Mills. In the Summer, we browse the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market then spend hours gardening or doing projects on our house. After a productive day, we enjoy sipping a glass of wine on our back patio or going over to my parents’ or grandparents’ to do the same. (Our house is just 15 minutes from Hafner Vineyard.)

How else do you spend your free time? Currently, I am in the Wine Executive MBA program through Sonoma State University. It’s incredibly fascinating and my classmates are great, but it takes up most of my free time. In addition, I serve on the board of my high school, Sonoma Academy, and am the President of its alumni board. Martín and I are both passionate about land conservation, so we try to participate in volunteer work or hikes through the Sonoma Land Trust and the Audubon Canyon Ranch.

Favorite Hafner wine: Of course I enjoy all of the wines and for different reasons, but if I absolutely had to choose just one… I love our Cabernet Sauvignons with age on them… 12+ years is my favorite!

What’s the best part of being part of the Hafner Vineyard team? I get to be with my “family” every day. I put family in quotes because that “family” includes Uncle Scott, Mom, Dad, Grandmother and Grandfather (plus my sister, Grace, and my husband, Martín, on occasion) and also the entire Hafner Vineyard Team. Many people have been working here for one, two, three and even four decades. They have watched me grow up. We even have multiple generations of families here in addition to our immediate family. To me, it feels like we are a giant extended family, and for this I am extremely grateful. We also share a lot of laughs together!

What's your office look like? The best part of my office is my wallpaper! It's from the Next Gen Party. It gives me inspiration and makes me smile (sometimes laugh) daily. (Read more about the Next Gen Party here.)Next Gen Comment Wall

What’s the most exciting time of the year at Hafner Vineyard? Harvest! And the Next Gen Party!

What’s the best part of living in Sonoma County? The delicious food, awesome wine, stunning outdoors and genuine people.

Personal motto or saying that you live by: Live a simple and balanced life – family, friends, nature and adventure.

Favorite day of the year: Christmas (Partly because Grace loves it so much. She starts counting down at about Halloween and wakes me up as early as possible Christmas morning.)

What’s a memory of when you started working at Hafner Vineyard? When Grace and I were young, we would come to the winery on the weekends to “work”. (Our training period at Hafner started early. We had lots to learn.) We would sit at Uncle Scott and Dad’s desks and pretend to own businesses. We would switch off who got to be Hafner Vineyard. On this specific Sunday, Grace “owned” the Healdsburg Ballet. We would call each other on the intercom phone system. We were conducting business as usual when an external call came through, but Grace didn’t realize the ringtone was different, so she answered, “Healdsburg Ballet”. I wasn’t on the other end…it was a patron! Stunned, she quickly hung up. Needless to say, that was the end of our day playing on the phones. Sorry to that person we hung up on! Still to this day, when I see her calling the winery, I often answer, “Healdsburg Ballet” and we both giggle with joy.

What is a crazy/funny job you’ve done here? Learning to fly a drone to we could share some fun videos of life/work here at Hafner Vineyard. Watch one of them here.

What’s a favorite trip that you have taken? Martín and I went to work a harvest in Mendoza, Argentina before we moved to California. We worked so many hours but loved the culture, food and people we met, many of whom have become lifelong friends. 
Kate and Martin in ArgentinaHere we took a break from Malbec pumpovers in Argentina to enjoy the sunset before continuing work on the nightshift.

P.S. These are some questions we wanted to share with you. Is there anything you want to know about us?

P.P.S. Watch for new “Meet the Team” chronicles. Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss an edition!