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Host a Cabernet Vertical Tasting

Parke Hafner Tasting CabernetExplaining in writing how our wines age can be difficult to comprehend. Actually tasting the differences between vintages gives you a chance to see the aging process in action. That is why we often have vertical tastings, both at the winery for education purposes and at home with family and friends. Inspired by my internship in France, I aim to replicate their style of winemaking by making wines that both age well and pair well with food. Enjoying a vertical tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect way to experience this. Here I share five tips on how to host your own Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical Tasting.

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Harvest to Date

Chardonnay HarvestHarvest is always an exciting time of year, but it can bring anxiety and nervousness. It reminds us that we are at Mother Nature’s will, and this year is no exception. Just before Labor Day, the temperatures soared to over 105°F for four days straight. That ripened the grapes quickly, triggering us to pick our Chardonnay. That meant no holiday weekend for the vineyard and cellar crews…Mother Nature had other plans. Recently, the temperatures dipped and we had some rain, which has stalled ripening. This meant the vineyard and cellar crews could catch their breath. Winemaker Parke Hafner and Vineyard Manager David Huebel each answered a few questions about Harvest 2017 so far and still to come. 

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New Capsules

Hafner Reserve ChardonnayYou may have noticed a small change to the capsules on our Reserve Chardonnay. The capsule isn’t just to provide a clean, secure covering for the cork...it also provides the clue to what’s inside. Since our first bottling of the 1982 Chardonnay, we’ve printed the vintage year on the end of the capsule to help patrons identify the vintages in their cellar. Beginning with the 2014 Reserve Chardonnay, we’ve added another identifier to help patrons. 

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Why Rosé of Malbec

2016 Rosé of Malbec by HafnerRosé, to me, signals the advent of Spring, and after this year’s Winter rain (almost double our normal rainfall total), we are ready for Rosé. Parke and I discovered Rosé back in 1985 on a trip to Provence, France – it was the perfect apéritif after a long day of touring the French countryside. Today, our family enjoys it as both an apéritif and as a dinner wine. Key to Rosé is both its color and its aroma. That is why we use Malbec for our Rosé – Malbec juice resembles bright pink bubblegum and is fruit-driven with aromas of watermelon, raspberries and violets. 

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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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