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Hafner Vineyard

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Autumn Vineyard Colors

Vineyard Colors during AutumnThis weekend the vineyard colors and sunlight here in Alexander Valley were so striking that I couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap some aerial photos. After Harvest, the vines slowly start to go dormant. Before their leaves drop, they put on a spectacular display of colors ranging from green, yellow, orange, auburn and even bright red. This Saturday showed the first signs of that.

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Benefits of an Estate Vineyard

Parke Hafner during Chardonnay Harvest.As all winemakers know, winemaking starts in the vineyard. Having our winery at the southeast corner of our vineyard (30 feet away!) ensures that I’m out in the vineyard frequently. That, in my opinion, has a great impact on wine quality. Check out a short video of David and the machine harvester picking Malbec right in front of the winery. 

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Cover Crop

Insectary blends attract predatory insects and bring vibrant colors to the vineyard. Vineyard sustainability in action!Driving through the Wine Country, you may notice some vineyards are void of any vegetation on the vineyard floor, while others have grass and weeds growing between the rows, and still others are a mixture of these styles with rows alternating between cultivated and uncultivated land. You might also notice that beneath some rows the soil is untilled but bare while others show signs of cultivation. Why is that? Vineyard practices vary from grower to grower. The methods we employ are motivated by our desire to enrich the soil and promote a healthy environment for our vines, thereby preserving the land for generations to come. 

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GoPro Captures Pruning

Martin Pruning at Hafner VineyardFrom December until March each year, our veteran vineyard crew tackles the tedious and time consuming job of pruning our 80,000 vines. While the vines are dormant, the crew removes most of last year’s growth selecting which buds will be saved to grow this year. Every cut answers many questions: Is the vine in balance? How strong is the vine? Is this spur in a good position for the harvester? How did this vine fair last year? With 96 acres, these decisions must be made quickly. Martín Aleman has been with Hafner Vineyard for over two decades. Here he wears a GoPro showing us what it is like to prune just one vine. With eight men in the vineyard, each prunes roughly 10,000 vines. A daunting task but one with great reward. 

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The View from Above

A view overlooking Hafner VineyardLooking out over the vineyard from our home, I see Winter asserting its cooling authority and I remember the warm magic of Spring and Summer.  How excited all of us were in March and April to see the first green leaves on our winter-darkened vines. It will be here shortly.

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