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Hafner Vineyard

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Farming Malbec

Malbec is a fun grape and unique, particularly in Sonoma County. Argentina is well known for its Malbec being the largest producer in the world with over 76,000 acres planted. In comparison, Sonoma County has about 400 acres planted and much of that is blended into Cabernet Sauvignon or red blends as is most common in Bordeaux. 

In the late 1990s, Winemaker Parke Hafner became interested in blending in Malbec and Petit Verdot to the Cabernet Sauvignon, to add fruit richness in the midpalate and darken the color. The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon is the first wine to have those two varietals included. The percent is low and varies slightly year to year. 

In 2004, we began making a second red wine based from Malbec. It was given a proprietary name "Next Red" as it had less than the government regulated amount of at least 75% of that variety to bear the varietal name on the label. 

I joined the Hafner Vineyard team in 2010, and the very next year, we started producing a Rosé of Malbec. You can learn more about how the Rosé is made here. 

We thought it would be fun to share a short film about growing Malbec here at our ranch in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley. You'll learn about our three blocks, why I enjoy farming Malbec and when to expect Harvest. Hope you enjoy it!