Shafer Vineyards is one of Napa Valley’s most recognized family-owned wine estates. The site of today’s winery was first planted to wine grapes in the 1880s. The Shafer family purchased their rugged hillside property in 1972 and after extensive replanting produced the first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1978. John Shafer, the founder, was joined by his son Doug Shafer, as winemaker, in 1983. Elias Fernandez was hired a year later as assistant winemaker (today Doug is winery president and Elias is winemaker).
For decades this trio has produced some of Napa Valley’s most celebrated Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Shafer wines are sought after by collectors, top restaurants and hotels, and key wine auction houses around the world. Shafer’s signature wine, Hillside Select, has been called “one of the New World’s most profound Cabernets,” by wine critic Robert M. Parker. The Shafer’s 40 years in Napa Valley was has been documented is A Vineyard in Napa, Doug Shafer’s memoir published by University of California Press.