Stop 2 - Shafer
Shafer Vineyards in the Stag's Leap District of Napa should not be confused with the Shafer Vineyard Cellars in Oregon. I have not been to Oregon, but I have been to Shafer in Napa. This vineyard sells a 100% cab called Hillside Select, and currently the consumer price is about $175 per bottle. At the wine tasting, they served us a 1995 Hillside Select, which was velvety, smooth, with a chocolatey oak hint to it. Tasting this wine was knowing when excellence is excellence. Some young wines are bit assaultive to the tongue, and then there is this 10+ year old Hillside Select which was distinctly luxurious. It is my favorite Shafer ever! The jibe about the Hillside Select is that it sells out in a short order, it is out of my price range, and the bottles need to rest for a decade or more before sipping this perfection. It is ridiculous of me to think that I might be able to find a Hillside Select in the middle of TN, if people in Napa and the Bay Area can't even find it. If there is anyone out there who wants to give me a Hillside Select, feel free!! Oh, there are other types of wine Shafer offers, but I just cannot tell you about them right now because I am so hooked on the Hillside Select!
The tunnels where the barrels are kept are crazy too. It was cool, clean and catacomb like. The barrels went on and on and on down each hallway of the tunnels. I bet it would have been cool to be a kid in the tunnels playing pretend spies and robbers. One interesting reality about this vineyard is that operates under solar power and organic principles. The Shafers and Elias Fernandez (Winemaker) strive to truly be eco-friendly, and eco-sustainable. When other vineyards are dying from pesticide use, and high energy costs, Shafer will be there with their traditional and sustainable methods of making wine.