- February 28, 2017
Name: Mary Hafner
Number of years at Hafner Vineyard: 50 years
Department/Role: Over the years, I’ve been the bookkeeper, donations guru, chef and hostess. First and foremost though, I’m the mother of four children (Julie, Parke, Scott and Betsy) and I translated that role into my time at Hafner Vineyard, so one might say I’m the “HV Mother”.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? As a college senior, I went with a student group from University of California Berkeley and spent a summer in India speaking with other student groups in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to increase international understanding across different cultures. Another thing is that when I was in my 30s, my sister and I held French cooking classes in our homes in Berkeley.
I am seated on the far right.
Where did you grow up? Berkeley, California
Favorite local restaurant: Willi’s, Barndiva or Campo Fina
What’s your perfect weekend day look like? A morning visit to the farmers’ market. Reading on our window seat which looks out to a big beautiful valley oak tree and across the vineyard. Then a delicious fresh salad from the market and Chardonnay for lunch with my husband.
How else do you spend your free time? Reading, walking, spending time with family and friends. I am also excited about land conservation and community involvement. For many years, I’ve enjoyed community service helping the Sonoma Land Trust and Healdsburg Forever, working to better our local community.
Favorite Hafner wine (yes, just one!): Chardonnay
What’s the best part of being part of the Hafner Vineyard team? I like the feeling that we are small community producing a great product that people enjoy. Each employee plays a key role in the success of the business. I am grateful for the efforts of the team and the years they’ve committed to the business, many for decades.
Gerardo and I came to work wearing a very similar shirt. We had a good laugh.
What’s the most exciting time of the year at Hafner Vineyard? Spring when the hills are green. Also during this time, we often invite people to the winery to thank them for their patronage the previous year. Since we don’t have a tasting room, it gives us a wonderful connection to people and puts names with faces. Many patrons now bring their second and third generation families which is a joy for us.
What’s the best part of living in Sonoma County? Being in this beautiful, diverse county with three generations of Hafners.
Personal motto or saying that you live by: The importance of integrity. It’s something that no one can take away from you.
Favorite day of the year: Thanksgiving
What’s a memory of when you started working at Hafner Vineyard? Shortly after we bought the ranch, Dick and I hiked to the top of the hill at the property line. I looked across the hills and down into the valley where our orchard was. This was the moment that I recognized that it was now our responsibility to take care of the land.
Here, Dick and I are harvesting Cabernet in 1974.
What’s the craziest/funniest job you’ve done here? In the early 80s, we were hosting a luncheon for patrons at our home that Dick and I had just built at the vineyard, but we were still living in Berkeley. In order to be time efficient, Dick drove the station wagon from Berkeley while I broke off the asparagus stems in preparation for grilling. Also, in the 60s and 70s, it was “all hands on deck” for our family when we were starting Hafner Vineyard and planting the vines. One of my tasks, tractor driving.
I’m driving. Parke is on the trailer getting ready to install sprinklers. Betsy is heading off on Mike with the ranch dog, joining in on the adventure.