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.
New vineyards have been added over the years, with acreage acquired in the Oak Knoll, Stags Leap and Carneros districts, bringing the total Shafer vineyard acreage to over 200 acres. Winery facilities have been expanded and extensive caves carved into the hillside for aging wine.
In 1994, Elias was appointed winemaker, and Doug took over the reins as president when John became chairman of the board.
From a modest beginning of 1,000 cases in 1978, the winery has grown steadily until reaching its present size of 32,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Today Shafer wines are available in major markets nationwide and in many foreign markets.
Chef Stephanie Izard – Girl & The Goat
Shannon Staglin – Staglin Family Vineyards
Shannon Staglin is President at Staglin Family Vineyard. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Cultural Anthropology she moved back to Napa to work as a harvest intern in 2001 where she learned the details of production and viticultural practices. In 2002 she moved from the winery into the office where she honed her skills in marketing, hospitality, consumer and trade sales. After earning her MBA from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management she chose to work for several years outside of the wine business to gain insight, a different perspective and valuable experience that she could one day share with Staglin Family Vineyard. She was recruited to create the marketing program for Wells Fargo Family Wealth, providing multifamily office solutions to ultra-high net worth client families.
In 2011 Shannon returned to Staglin Family Vineyard where she oversees all aspects of the business. Her educational and professional experiences provide a new perspective and a fresh outlook that will enhance the family business for many years to come.
Peter Mondavi Jr. - Charles Krug Winery
Cesare Mondavi emigrated from Marches, Italy in 1906, to Minnesota and worked in the iron mines. In 1908, he returned to Italy to marry Rosa Grassi and settled in Virginia, Minnesota where they operated a boarding house and saloon. Four children were born to the couple: Mary, Helen, Robert and Peter. In 1922, at the beginning of Prohibition, the family journeyed to Lodi, California where Cesare built the lucrative grape and fruit shipping business, C. Mondavi & Sons.
Peter attended Stanford University, graduating in 1937, going on to pursue graduate studies in enology at University of California, Berkeley. He later served in the U.S. Army during World War II before returning home to help run the winery.
Peter Mondavi has effected tremendous enological, viticultural and marketing innovations over six decades, including:
- Vintage dating varietal wines
- Cold fermentation for white wines
- Cold sterile filtration
- Fermentation in small French oak barrels and glass-lined tanks
- The first winery newsletter "Bottles & Bins”, initially published in 1949
- The annual Tastings on the Lawn concert series, started in 1951
Since the early 1980s, Peter's two sons, Marc and Peter Jr., educated at UC Davis and Stanford respectively, have assumed major roles at Charles Krug Winery. Both Marc and Peter Jr. are active in all aspects of viticulture, winemaking and marketing. Peter Mondavi Sr. remains active in the day-to-day winery operation, although he is increasingly relying on his sons and the fourth generation to determine the winery's vision.
Patsy McCoy - Napa Valley Vintners
Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse microclimates and soils uniquely suited to the cultivation of a variety of fine wine grapes.
Among the internationally acclaimed wines produced in this small region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc.
Anne Vawter & Jim Striegel – Red Mare Wines
An avid horse woman, Anne named her wine label in honor of her red mare, Paradigm, who was a bonus given to her during her time at Paradigm Winery. The inaugural release of Red Mare Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2007 vintage, sold out in just two months. In addition to her Cabernet Sauvignon, Anne also produces a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and will add a Sonoma Chardonnay in the 2011 vintage.
Red Mare Wines sources fruit meticulously from very small, well-respected vineyards throughout the Napa Valley, from a cool enclave of the Carneros to a hill top in Coombsville, and northward on the Valley floor in Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena. Our 2011 Chardonnay hails from a choice location in the famed Russian River Valley of Sonoma. We look for vineyards with unique qualities and distinctive character that will come together in the blending process to produce layered and beautifully balanced wines.