Shafer Vineyards


  • "Top 100 Most Influential U.S. Winemakers. Elias Fernandez has been the winemaker at Shafer Vineyards in Napa for 28 years - a lifetime in winemaking terms. While some winemakers hopscotch from winery to winery, Fernandez perfers working for the same vineyard. His father from Mexico and his mother from Napa harvested prunes and crop trees before there were grapes, teaching Fernandez the value of the land. Both Quarterly Review of Wines and Food & Wine Magazine name Fernandez 'Winemaker of the Year.' Shafer Vineyards was selected as one of the '25 Great Vineyards in the World' by Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Fernandez received a 'Hall of Fame' award from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund in Washington, D.C." (Into Wine)
  • "Celebrating 30 years of consistent quality and both critical and commercial success, Shafer Vineyards, one of the most impeccably run wineries in the world, is a wonderful family operation that deserves all the success they have earned.” (Robert Parker)

Basic Info

Shafer Vineyards traces its beginnings to Napa’s legendary Class of 1972, which also includes Caymus, Silver Oak, and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, among others. It was that year in which 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. From a modest beginning of 1,000 cases in 1978, the winery has grown steadily into one of the world’s most respected producers, turning out some of the most sought-after wines in the New World.

Napa Valley
Sub region:
Stag's Leap District
Year founded:
John Shafer, Doug Shafer
Elias Fernandez
Practicing Organic