Hafner Vineyard

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Cork Trials

Cork TrialsBefore bottling any wine, we hold cork trials to determine which corks we will purchase. It's a time-consuming process. We request samples from a number of different cork manufacturers. Our goal is to decide which corks are the most neutral in aroma. It can be very difficult to differentiate between samples. This is why the cork trials are a group effort - Sarah, Ricardo and I each smell and rate the corks, hoping that we come to a similar consensus. Learn more about the process in my article. 

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Cabernet GrapesHere at Hafner Vineyard, we grow three red Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot) and from those varieties we make two distinctly different wines - Cabernet Sauvignon and Next Red, our Malbec based blend. We thought it would be interesting to share why we decided to make these two wines, how they are different and what typical aromas we find in each. 

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French Intern Arthur

Arthur at Hafner VineyardEvery July, our household and cellar team grow by one. We hire a young Frenchman as our winery intern for the harvest. He is between his second and third year at an agricultural university in Toulouse. He lives at our home with us and comes to work each day. We started this program in 1985, so Arthur Rebiere is our 34th intern. His internship is coming to an end, but he has made the most of his time here - exploring San Francisco, the Pacific coastline and Sonoma County. He and our dogs have become best friends. 

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How to Make Rosé

Rose of Malbec VerticalRosé has become a popular new wine, not just at Hafner, but across the country. It's a very fun Summer drink on a warm afternoon day. Producing a pink wine is a bit different than making a red or white wine, so I thought I’d share the production methods behind our Rosé. There are two techniques used to make Rosé, and we use both of them here at Hafner Vineyard to make our Rosé of Malbec.

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Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

Caves in Alexander ValleyThe technique of barrel fermenting Chardonnay has been used for centuries in France but was first introduced to me in 1979 when I worked at Chappellet winery in Napa Valley. My time working at Domaine des Comtes Lafon, in Meursault, France two years later continued to expand my understanding and appreciation of barrel fermentation. As a result, we began fermenting Chardonnay in barrels with our first vintage, 1982. Barrel fermentation of Chardonnay results in a very different flavor profile of the wine compared to tank fermentation. Barrel fermentation allows the flavors contributed by the oak to be gently integrated into the wine resulting in a softer, creamier wine than if you tank fermented the wine and then barrel aged it.

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