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Next Gen BlogEach July, a little reminder pops up on my calendar at work: “Next Gen Ahead! Start brainstorming!” This notification sets off excitement across the entire Hafner Vineyard team. When I joined the team four years ago, Uncle Scott charged me with cultivating my generation and bringing in new patrons. One way we do this is by hosting a gathering here in Alexander Valley each October that we call our Next Generation Harvest Party. What I am always excited about is seeing how many of the “Next Gen-ers” are children or grandchildren of longtime patrons. They’ve grown up with Hafner wine on their family tables, just as I have. It reminds me that we are in it together

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Summer Colors in the Vineyard

Sarah and Annie the yellow labEach season in our Alexander Valley vineyard has its own distinct characteristics and color. While most think of Spring as bright and exciting with all of the vineyard’s new growth, it is early Summer that I enjoy most. The vines have bloomed (small berries begin to appear under the shade of its leaves) and are beginning to grow exponentially. When you picture a vineyard, you see it as a blanket of green, but when you walk through a vineyard, there are a vast number of hues, perhaps as many as 50.

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Biking in Healdsburg

Parke and his biking friendsEach weekend morning, I join my friends for a bike ride around Sonoma County. It’s a fun way to get some exercise and enjoy the beautiful country where we live. To take advantage of the early morning fog and empty roads, we hop on our bikes in Healdsburg around 8:30 a.m. We have several routes to choose from, but two of our favorites takes us through the wine regions of our area: Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.

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Spring Photography

Vineyard PhotographyEvery season here in Alexander Valley is special, and this time of year is no exception. Right now when I walk with my friend in the early mornings, I realize Spring is here. The air is fresh and crisp. The sunrises are often brilliant pink turning to orange and then yellow with wispy clouds. The sounds of birds chirping as we make our way through our small town. At Hafner Vineyard, I enjoy photographing Springtime because the vineyard and hillside are covered in my favorite color…vibrant green! The most dramatic photos are when the young leaves have just pushed from their buds and catch the rays of sun.

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Replanting a Vineyard

David Huebel explaining organic soil builder in the block that will be replanted.A vineyard is always a work in progress. Every block I have ever worked with has had a unique personality. Even two blocks of the same variety planted next to each other are often quite different. And each block has a lifetime. For some that can be 100+ years! Though about 30 or 35 years is more common. Sometimes disease can lead to a shorter life span. That is what happened to 13 acres of our Chardonnay.

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