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Reflections on Harvest

Sarah HafnerAs the Holidays approach, harvest seems a distant memory, but for the cellar team, "harvest" is not complete until the fermentations are finished and the wines are aging in barrels. I have the long but fun job of monitoring each fermentation, taking the sugars daily and sampling the wines as they progress. I share my findings with our winemaker (and my husband), Parke Hafner, who makes suggestions about our next plans with each lot for the coming days. Follow along on my harvest journey through the blog. 

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Fall Releases Virtual Tasting

Fall ReleasesWith the release of our 2018 Chardonnay and 2016 Next Red, we thought it would be fun to taste them virtually with patrons. Virtual talks have been a nice way to “be with you” in your home during these uncertain times. This tasting also gave us the opportunity to dive deeper into the wines and winemaking practices. You can watch the recording of our conversation here. 

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Our Virtual Harvest Talk

Harvest ZoomSeptember in Wine Country is exciting with vineyards abuzz. It’s Harvest time! We often welcome patrons and friends to the winery in September who want to experience this season when our cellar is full of action. This year is different…for all of us. We have not had the pleasure of visitors as we are taking precautions because of COVID-19. Instead, we found a fun way to bring Harvest to you…virtually! Here you can watch a talk that we gave on September 1st. Winemaker Parke Hafner and Vineyard Manager David Huebel share their thoughts on the 2020 Vintage along with details about how we determine when to pick the grapes, why we harvest by machine and more. 

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Decanting Wine

Decanting Cabernet SauvignonDecanting (pouring the wine from the bottle into another vessel, typically a decanter) is a simple, but careful process. It can be intimidating knowing when to decant a wine and when not to. Here I share three reasons for decanting a wine and hopefully they help shed some light on any confusion. Everyone's tastes and opinions are different, so my goal is to share with you what I know about decanting and aerating wines as well as the science behind it. Then it's up to you to have fun and do some experiments tasting the wine as it aerates in a decanter. 

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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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