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Hafner Vineyard

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How Chardonnay Ages

Hafner Chardonnay Vertical TastingOften, I am asked “How long do you age your Chardonnays?” And my answer is always a bit complicated. I do say that our Chardonnays can age easily for five years from the vintage date, but wine is a personal preference. It’s like asking “do you like your steak rare or well-done”; only you know what you prefer. Wine is a bit more complicated than beef, but there are some basic tenets that you can apply and decide what you prefer. Chardonnay, when young, has a bright, lively fruit driven quality that is quite enjoyable. As it ages, the bright, crisp citrus notes become more complex and developed.  

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Meaning of "Estate Bottled"

Estate Bottled CabernetWhat does “Estate Bottled” mean and why is it so important? Winemaker Parke Hafner answers these questions on our blog. All our wines are estate bottled, so we have complete control from growing the grapes to making the wine and the final step of bottling. At Hafner Vineyard, “Estate Bottled” is key to our winemaking philosophy. Great wines begin in the vineyard, and we work hard to grow the best grapes possible. Having the vineyard right next to the winery allows for close collaboration between vineyard manager and winemaker. 

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Vineyard Replant

Hafner Replant NovemberIn farming, there is always work to be done and changes to be made. A vineyard typically has a life cycle of about 25 years, so Winemaker Parke Hafner and Vineyard Manager David Huebel are constantly looking at long term plans for the vineyard. After Harvest 2018, we removed 10 acres of vines and began the process of replanting Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. A yearlong project, Parke, David and the vineyard team can now catch their breath with the new vines in the ground and growing happily. We interviewed Parke and David to get their perspectives on the replant and share the process with you.

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French Intern Pierre

Pierre BardinetWhat began as a simple request has become a 34-year tradition. A friend of a friend asked me if we would host a young French enology student during harvest. Because Sarah and I were interns in France in 1981, the answer was easy… yes, of course! Fast forward 34 years and we have our 35th intern, Pierre Bardinet. Pierre comes from a winemaking family in St. Emilion, so he brings a fun perspective. He has become part of our family, and our dogs, Annie and Millie, especially adore him since he takes them to the pool and plays in the caves with them. To say that we will miss Pierre when he leaves is an understatement, but we know we will see him again, either here or in France.

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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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