Shafer Vineyards 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.
Evolving from grape growers to vintners, the Shafers crushed their first Cabernet grapes in 1978 and began construction on their winery a year later.
The first Shafer Cabernet became a benchmark, winning the acclaimed San Francisco Vintners Club taste-off upon release and, over a decade later taking first place in an international blind tasting held in Germany, where it outranked such wines as Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateau Palmer.
Doug Shafer became winemaker in 1983 after graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. A year later Elias Fernandez joined the winery as assistant winemaker. Together Doug and Elias have worked closely to forge the Shafer style of quality, consistency and elegance.
Shafer Vineyards has no available wines.
6154 Silverado Trail,
Napa, CA, 94558
It was the lure of wine country farming that inspired John Shafer in 1972 to make a career change, leaving behind 23 years of corporate experience to begin work in a new field. And in the fields, or rather the vineyards, is exactly where John began his new career. Adopting a hands-on approach from day one, John could be seen throughout the mid-70s riding on his tractor as he tilled the soil of his family's new estate in the foothills of the Stags Leap Palisades.
It was during this period that he, along with his son Doug, learned the intricacies of hillside grapegrowing as they toiled many long hours terracing the hillsides, replanting and expanding the vineyards. With each passing year, they learned more about the nature of grapegrowing in the Stags Leap District, one of the world's best regions for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon. What began for John as a career in viticulture, quickly expanded into full-scale winemaking. In 1978, the first Shafer wine was made and a year later construction began on the family winery. The debut wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon, was released in 1981 to a chorus of high praise and awards, including a first place in the San Francisco Vintners Club Cabernet taste-off. Over fifteen years later, this wine continues to prove its remarkable ageability, winning first place in a 1993 German blind tasting against first growth Bordeaux wines