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Race Against the Rain

Hafner Vineyard Oct. 20, 2021In farming, we generally have a plan, but that is often dictated by weather. That was certainly the case last week as we started seeding our cover crop. We've been in a drought and were pleased to see the forecast for rain. However, that meant consolidating five days worth of work into hopefully two! This type of situation is one I thrive in. For me, work is a lifestyle and farming is about dedication, determination and focus. We knew what needed to be done and we did our best. We hope you enjoy reading about our two days of race against the rain and a wonderful surprise of dinner delivery on the tractor. 

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Vineyard Update

David Huebel at Hafner VineyardHarvest is quickly approaching! Harvest is the culmination of a year's hard work for the vineyard team. I had the opportunity to sit down with Vineyard Manager David Huebel last week to check in about how the vineyard is progressing and what he anticipates this vintage will be like. He shared his thoughts on the drought, the fruit quality for 2021, when he thinks Harvest might start and much more. 

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Farming Malbec

David Huebel MalbecMalbec 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. 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! 

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How to Prune a Grapevine

How to Prune a GrapevinePruning is arguably the most important job in the vineyard. Not only does it take many months but with each cut, the crew is determining the potential crop load as well as overall vine structure for the years to come. In a video in this blog, vineyard manager, David Huebel, takes us into the vineyard showing the steps of pruning and Gerardo (a 38 year Hafner Vineyard veteran) gives a play-by-play while he prunes. 

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Vineyard Update

Hafner Vineyard Vineyard UpdateWhile the world is turned on its head because of COVID-19, we are grateful to be out in the vineyard, doing what we do best – farming. The pandemic is always a residual concern in my mind. However, agriculture is deemed an essential business, so our work has not stopped. I cannot even begin to imagine where the vines would be right now if we hadn’t been able to work. The vines don’t stop growing. Right now, we are busy shoot thinning and managing the canopy. We are tucking shoots into the trellis and splitting the canopy so that the grapes form in the middle of the vine.

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