Shafer Vineyards

Napa Valley, United States

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.

In December, 2004, Shafer Vineyards made the switch to 100 percent solar power, which we see as our next step in sustainable farming. Going solar is our way of treating the air as well as we treat the land. The generation of electricity is the number one source of air pollution in the US. Most generator plants burn coal and pump millions of tons of greenhouse gasses and pollutants in the air we breathe. Over the lifetime of Shafer's system alone (30 years) the greenhouse gasses that won't be produced on our behalf has the air-purifying effect of planting 17,000 trees.

Napa Valley, December 2005 - Shafer Vineyards is pleased to announce it is ending 2005 with its wines ranked among the best in the world.

"Everyone at Shafer is honored to see these wines go out into the world and create such a favorable impression," says Doug Shafer, president, Shafer Vineyards. "it's a real testament to our vineyard sites as well as the outstanding team of men and women who cultivate our vines, create miracles in our cellar and keep the administrative area running smoothly. The Shafer family is deeply grateful to the amazing group of 16 individuals who work with such skill and care to make this winery successful."

Shafer was the first winery in the U.S. to flip the switch to 100 percent solar power back in 2004.

"This Stag's Leap District pioneer was one of the first to deliver wines that rivalled the first growths of Bordeaux." - The 2011 Hot List, Wine Access, Feb-Mar/11

James Beard Foundation Award 2010 - "Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional". John and Doug Shafer, a father and son team, are the first Napa Valley vintners awarded this honor in 14 years and are thrilled to join previous Napa Valley recipients: Robert Mondavi ('91), Andre Tchelistcheff ('92) and Jack and Jamie Davies ('96).

Listed in 2015 Wineries of the year - Wine & Spirits Magazine, Winter 2014

Fifteen Awards for Winery of the year in the past 25 years. - Wine and Spirits 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame

Wine & Spirits - Year's Best Cabernet Sauvignon's
2006 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine & Spirits - Top 100 Winery of the Year (2009)

Wine Spectator - Top 100 Wines 2005
2002 Relentless

Wine Spectator - Great California Cabernets
2002 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine & Spirits - Best of 2005
Wineries of the Year - Shafer Vineyards

Wine & Spirits - Cabernet Super List 2005
2001 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

Food & Wine magazine - 2005 American Wine Awards
Best Merlot (over $20) - 2002 Shafer Vineyards Merlot
Best Cabernet Sauvignon (over $20) - 2001 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

The Wine News - California's Best Wines of 2005
Cabernet of the Year - 2001 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon
Syrah of the Year - 2002 Relentless
Top 10 Merlots of the Year - 2003 Shafer Vineyards Merlot
Top 10 Chardonnays of the Year - 2003 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay
Outstanding Cabernet - 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Quarterly Review of Wines - Best of Syrah 2005
Co-Best of Show - 2002 Relentless

San Francisco Chronicle - Top 100 Wines of 2005
Top 10 Favorite - 2001 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

Connoisseur's Guide to California Wines - Year in Review 2005
Winery of the Year - Shafer Vineyards
Best Wines of 2005, Stephen Elliot - 2001 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Wines of 2005, Charles Olken - 2001 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon;2002 Relentless

In addition, Shafer Vineyards was featured in the following wine books:

The World's Greatest Wine Estates, by Robert M. Parker, Jr.

The Great Wines of America: The Top Forty Vintners, Vineyards, and Vintages, by Paul Lukacs

The Wines of the Napa Valley, by Larry Walker

"This Stag's Leap District pioneer was one of the first to deliver wines that rivalled the first growths of Bordeaux." - The 2011 Hot List, Wine Access, Feb-Mar/11

2007 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California: 94/100. - Nathalie McLean, Oct 15/11.

"I'm in love and his name is Shafer! How can I count the ways? Maybe the blackberry-black currant fruit? The smoke and judicious weave of oak? The incredible length that leaves you whimpering for more? Who knows. This winemaker is merciless. Drink: 2011-2018." Score: 94/100. Top Rated Red Wine - Natalie McLean Oct 15/11

"This was a fascinating tasting with one of the superstar reference point/iconic wineries in all of California. Shafer-s Relentless project has been a huge success since the debut. Blending Syrah and Petite Sirah, aging it for a long time in French oak, and not compromising on any element of the winemaking process has put them at the top of the Rhone Ranger sweepstakes. From the Stags Leap District, the Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five was named by the Shafers to honor the generation and a half of the family that has been involved in this winery-s success. Turning to Shafer-s Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon is akin to entering one of the world?s museums of liquid art. This is unquestionably one of California-s, and the world?s, most iconic and greatest wines. When Chateau Latour bought the Araujo estate, I thought the entire value of the Shafers and of this particular vineyard probably jumped by 30-50% because of that purchase. This is a first-growth wine from a magical site, and it has been one of the top half dozen or so California Cabernet Sauvignons in every vintage since the early nineties. That?s a remarkable track record. In every vintage it is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged an uncommonly long time (32 months) in 100% French oak, yet you would never know that. The Shafers remain disarmingly modest about what they have achieved, but this is utterly profound, world-class wine that any wine lovers who enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon need to sample at least once in their life." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #209, Oct 2013


Top 100 Wineries - Wine & Spirits 2020