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Second Generation Interns

FrenchiesBack in 1981, the year before we built the winery, Sarah and I had the wonderful opportunity to be interns in Burgundy, France. There we learned new techniques and gained a new perspective that has greatly influenced the winemaking style of Hafner Vineyard. In 1985, we received a request from a young French enology student to work the harvest with us at Hafner Vineyard; thus began our internship program and friendships that now span generations. This year’s “internship” has been an exceptional one. Some would say that we’ve been invaded, but we consider ourselves lucky. Today, we have three (yes, three!) adorable, hard working and very hungry French kids living with us.

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50th Anniversary Lunch

Lunchtime at Hafner VineyardTo kick off our 50th Anniversary year, all of us who work in the vineyard and winery, gathered for a fun lunch on January 23rd, to toast and mark the occasion. It was a cold day, but thankfully without rain during lunch, and we gathered in the oldest building on the property, “The Shop”. At one long table, surrounded by farming equipment, warmed by a heater and lit by French bistro lights, we marked the occasion by opening a jeroboam of 1982 Cabernet Sauvignon – our first vintage.

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Help from France

Charles and Aurelie at Hafner VineyardWe are lucky this year to have not just one French intern, but three! Guillaume Marre arrived in the first week of June and returned to France at the end of September for the start his school. Fortunately, Charles Marcoin and Aurélie Wycke came mid-September, so Guillaume could teach them about the life and expectations of an intern at Hafner Vineyard (most importantly, to spell "P-O-O-L" in front of Annie, our Labrador and waterdog extraordinaire.) Why did they want to be interns at Hafner Vineyard here in Alexander Valley far from Paris? Well, let me tell you...

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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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'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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