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Meet the Team - Fernando

Name: Fernando Onofre

Number of years at Hafner Vineyard: 2 years
Fernando Onofre in Vineyard

Department/Role: I’m part of the vineyard team and do a little bit of everything, except driving the tractors.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? I worked for a season harvesting apples and blueberries in Washington state. And for Hafner patrons, I am the third generation in my family to work at Hafner Vineyard.

Where did you grow up? Palo Alto, Mexico (like many others on the team!)

Favorite Local Restaurant: Cheesecake Factory, I like the pizza but my wife likes the pasta, so there’s no sharing. The dessert is the best there.

What’s your perfect weekend day look like? Get up early, go somewhere we haven’t been before, especially the beach. I like discovering new places and new restaurants. I’m relatively new to the area, so it’s fun exploring with my family. 
Fernando Beach SonomaHow else do you spend your free time? What free time!? I have three kids under two-years-old! (He says laughing.) I love spending time with my kids. I have an almost two-year-old son and twin girls who are eight months old. When they are napping, I like detailing my car.

Favorite Hafner wine (yes, just one!): Reserve Chardonnay

What’s the best part of being part of the Hafner Vineyard team? The best part is spending time with the team. There’s lots of laughing and joking. We all have known each other for many years so we are constantly laughing.

What’s the most exciting time of the year at Hafner Vineyard? Tying, which is usually in March because it’s relaxing and sometimes there’s a break with the rain. It’s a beautiful time of year. Tying is when we lay the canes down on the trellis and tie them to the trellis. I like tying with the Pellenc tying machine (see below). 
Fernando TyingWhat’s the best part of living in Sonoma County? I love that there’s lots of natural beauty – green trees and vineyards, rivers, ocean and of course, the climate is nice.

Personal motto or saying that you live by: God puts you in the right place and then it’s up to you to do your part and seize the opportunities given to you.

Favorite day of the year: Christmas, especially with the kids now getting more excited about presents. Matías loves tractors and cars. 
Fernando FamilyWhat’s a memory of when you started working at Hafner Vineyard? When I arrived, I started to look for other jobs and then my father-in-law said that I should just look here and see if there’s work. Luckily there was! I decided to work here because I had some experience working in agriculture and enjoy being outside. What really grabbed my attention was that I knew a lot of people who worked here and they liked it. My wife’s grandfather (Agustin) also worked here in the vineyard and lived on the ranch years ago. (If you’re a longtime HV patron, you might remember him as Assistant Winemaker Ricardo’s dad.) He rode a bike to “commute” from his house to the vineyard, so when I started working here, I used that same bike to get out into the vineyard.  

What’s the craziest/funniest job you’ve done here? One of the first jobs I had was to help José Luis repair a fence along the perimeter that separates the vineyard from the hills. He recently retired but had always been the expert fence repairer, so I was looking forward to learning from him. As we were finalizing the fence, Ricardo came by and said that we had installed the wire fencing upside down. José Luis couldn’t believe that he’d made that mistake! He said that we had to move quickly to fix it so no one else saw our error because he didn’t want his reputation as the expert in fence repair tarnished. We were laughing a lot but working fast because we were right on the vineyard road too where we could be seen. I won’t make that mistake again!