Shafer Winery traces its beginnings to 1972 when John Shafer left a 23-year career in the publishing industry and, with his family, moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a second career in wine. After purchasing a 210-acre estate in Napa Valley's Stags Leap District, the Shafer family faced the arduous task of replanting the existing vineyards, which dated to the 1920s, and terracing the steep and rocky hillsides, eventually expanding vineyard acreage to its current 50 acres.
Shafer Winery Hillside Select
Shafer Hillside Select, our signature wine of limited production, is made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes selected from the best lots grown on Shafer's hillside vineyards in the Stags Leap District. Truly a "wine of a place," this Cabernet exemplifies the concentration of hillside grapes and the extraordinary richness and suppleness of Stags Leap District fruit. Aged a full four years prior to release (three years in Alliers and Tronçais oak barrels and one year in the bottle), the Hillside Select is a wine with rich chocolate, blackberry and currant flavors and a soft, velvety texture.
Shafer Winery Chardonnay
Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch® Chardonnay is produced entirely from grapes grown in the Carneros district on the winery's Red Shoulder Ranch, named for the red-shouldered hawks that play an important role in Shafer's natural farming practices. The vineyard was planted in 1990 to five different Chardonnay clones specially selected for their small clusters, low yields and distinctive flavors. The wine is fermented in French and American oak barrels using wild yeast to add an extra dimension of complexity. It is spared malolactic fermentation in order to retain the natural fruit flavors and acidity. The Chardonnay remains in barrel for a total of 15 months prior to bottling, with the lees stirred weekly to create a rich, creamy texture.
Shafer Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant, silky wine with soft tannins and abundant fruit that is approachable when young, yet capable of aging gracefully. From the first vintage, it has consistently reflected the Shafer style and commitment to quality. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and/or Cabernet Franc, it is aged for approximately 18 months in French and American oak barrels.
Shafer Winery Merlot
Pull the cork on any bottle of Shafer Merlot and you will find a forward, stylish Merlot that takes center stage with all its appealing varietal fruit, not a Merlot that plays understudy to a Cabernet Sauvignon. Only small percentages of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are blended in to complement, but not overshadow, the Merlot itself. Taking advantage of the site-specific nature of this varietal, Shafer's Merlot draws its grapes from selected vineyards throughout the Napa Valley, gaining complexity from the vineyard diversity. It is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.
Shafer Winery Firebreak
Shafer Firebreak® is a proprietary blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Inspired by the wines of Italy, Firebreak highlights the spicy fruitiness of Sangiovese with the depth and backbone of Cabernet Sauvignon. Sangiovese brings licorice and spice to this full-bodied and aromatic wine, while Cabernet contributes deep color and roundness on the back of the palate.