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A View from Above

A few years ago, Uncle Scott encouraged me to become a “drone pilot”, so we could have some unique photos from above. This certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone, but the end result is always fun and dramatic. We often share them on our website and social media.

In my most recent flight, I took a number of photos (see a few below). This one here stood out to us:
Hafner from AboveWe work closely as a team between vineyard, cellar and sales. Everyone has a unique perspective given their role and experience, so we wanted to see what various team members thought of this photo and what they see.

For me, I notice the prominence of the solar array (providing 33% of our power). The photo also makes me realize how small the winery is (and me the drone pilot! Can you see me?) in comparison to the vineyard and hills, reminding me that we humans are small in comparison to the planet and the importance of maintaining a small footprint on the earth.

Here are others’ thoughts:

David (Vineyard Manager): I see a vineyard off to a good start of a new vintage. The trees in the riparian zone and surrounding hills are happy from all the rain this year. Every 12th row an insectary row is teeming with habitat for good bugs.

Matt (shipping team): I like how clean and organized the rows look from above. On my afternoon break, I walk around the vineyard and it looks more chaotic from the ground, but above is an impressive view.

Gerardo (vineyard team): You can see a slight limb of what we call “Mary’s Tree” in honor of Mary Hafner who saved the giant oak from her husband Dick’s chainsaw.

Parke (Winemaker): I notice the insectary rows, the green lines, that have yet to be mowed. You get a great sense of the proximity from the vineyard to the winery. As a winemaker, I’m grateful to be able to walk out into the vineyard and check on how the grapes are progressing.

Laura (sales team): I see the gorgeous view and hard work.

Scott (sales team): I see fertility. I see rich soil. I see the habitat along the creek that we work to keep in balance between our needs and local fauna.

Vineyard Team: We see the red fire cart… and [laughing] the drone pilot! (They are often in the vineyard watching my erratic flight pattern and I am sure laughing to each other.) 

Sarah (cellar and sales teams): I see the tiny green leaves beginning to grow on the vines, a signal of the new vintage, which always excites me. And it’s beautiful how prominent the insectary rows are.

Benito (vineyard team): I’m happy that the insectary rows are visible and the flowers bloomed. I sat on the back of a quad and spread the seeds by hand across the ranch.

A number of people mentioned the insectary rows. You can see them up close in a reel on Instagram here.

Hafner in Sonoma
Hafner Vineyard in Alexander Valley
Vineyard Rows