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Hafner Vineyard

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Our French Intern

Guillaume - our French internA new set of hands has been working with Ricardo and me in the cellar for the past couple of months. He’s fun and he’s French…he’s Guillaume, the intern! He arrived in California on June 10th and lives with my wife, Sarah, and me on the property here in Alexander Valley. Guillaume has been helping Ricardo and me in the cellar as we get ready for harvest. He and Ricardo make a great team. I often walk into the caves and hear them working away, but also laughing hysterically. Guillaume said he’s teaching Ricardo a few choice French phrases and Ricardo’s helping him perfect the art of Mexican Spanish. Read more about Guillaume's adventures!

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Malolactic Chardonnay "Starter"

Harvest 2016 at Hafner VineyardIt's here! Today marked the first (though unofficial) day of the 2016 Harvest. Each year, the vineyard crew handpicks a small amount of Chardonnay, so that we can create a malolactic “starter”. This is a similar idea to how bakers make sourdough bread. We grow a small batch of malolactic bacteria which will in turn be used to inoculate larger lots. Eventually we will inoculate about 40% of our main Chardonnay and 100% of the Reserve Chardonnay. 

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Biking in Healdsburg

Parke and his biking friendsEach weekend morning, I join my friends for a bike ride around Sonoma County. It’s a fun way to get some exercise and enjoy the beautiful country where we live. To take advantage of the early morning fog and empty roads, we hop on our bikes in Healdsburg around 8:30 a.m. We have several routes to choose from, but two of our favorites takes us through the wine regions of our area: Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.

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Watercolor Vineyard Map

Watercolor Vineyard MapI carry a small vineyard map in my wallet showing each block with its planting dates, rootstocks and clones, so when I walk the vineyard, I know the exact history of each area. We thought it would be fun to share a general map with you. Painted by my wife, Sarah, this vineyard map of Hafner in Alexander Valley denotes the blocks by color. Comparing this new map to my Dad’s (Dick) hand-drawn map, I am struck by what has changed and what has remained the same since we bought the ranch back in 1967.

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'90 Cabernet for a Celebration

Hafner Cabernet from Alexander Valley - Jeroboam vs. 750Big bottles mean big celebrations and in our family, a big bottle means a jeroboam, it’s the equivalent of 6 regular sized (750 ml) bottles! What would be better to celebrate my father’s 90th birthday than a jeroboam of Hafner Cabernet? I looked through my cellar and found a 1990, which was an excellent year here at Hafner Vineyard. A 25-year-old wine! There is a theory that the larger the bottle, the slower the aging process. To test that, I went down into my cellar and found a 750 ml bottle of the same vintage.

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