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A Day in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Farmers MarketSanta Rosa is the largest city in Sonoma County. For some, that may be a drawback, but for me it’s what I like about living here. I enjoy being close to the conveniences of a larger city. Restaurants, stores, movie theaters, a performing arts center, great county and city parks, and wineries. Of course all of Sonoma County has many things to do both indoors and out, but just in Santa Rosa there is much to keep one busy. Here's my day's itinerary for you...

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How to Make Rosé

Rose of Malbec VerticalRosé has become a popular new wine, not just at Hafner, but across the country. It's a very fun Summer drink on a warm afternoon day. Producing a pink wine is a bit different than making a red or white wine, so I thought I’d share the production methods behind our Rosé. There are two techniques used to make Rosé, and we use both of them here at Hafner Vineyard to make our Rosé of Malbec.

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Natural Beekeeping

Natural BeekeepingWhat the heck is “natural beekeeping”?! After a class at Shed in Healdsburg with Ariella Daly, Martin and I were sold on natural and sustainable beekeeping. It takes a holistic and hands off approach. We use a top-bar hive made from Bee Built in Oregon because they are deeply focused on reducing environmental impacts. A main difference between conventional and natural (or sustainable/organic) beekeeping is the comb. Natural beekeeping allows the bees to build their own comb as they would in nature, instead of living in pre-built plastic comb. It has been very fun learning about bees and their community. They are teaching us patience and reminding us that we share this land with many other species. 

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Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

Caves in Alexander ValleyThe technique of barrel fermenting Chardonnay has been used for centuries in France but was first introduced to me in 1979 when I worked at Chappellet winery in Napa Valley. My time working at Domaine des Comtes Lafon, in Meursault, France two years later continued to expand my understanding and appreciation of barrel fermentation. As a result, we began fermenting Chardonnay in barrels with our first vintage, 1982. Barrel fermentation of Chardonnay results in a very different flavor profile of the wine compared to tank fermentation. Barrel fermentation allows the flavors contributed by the oak to be gently integrated into the wine resulting in a softer, creamier wine than if you tank fermented the wine and then barrel aged it.

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