Shafer Vineyards is one of the star wineries, not only in Napa Valley but in all of California. It began in 1972 when John Shafer left a career in Publishing and moved to the Napa Valley with his family to pursue a career in wine. The family purchased a large estate in the Stag’s Leap District, and set to work on replanting all the existing vineyards, which had been there since the 1920s. In 1978, the Shafers had their first harvest of Cabernet grapes, and began construction of their first winery in 1979. The Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon was of a high standard, and rose above other wines that were in competition. Their Chardonnay never undergoes malolactic fermentation: 75% is barrel-fermented and the other quarter in stainless steel. The Stags Leap One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon has won much acclaim, while the flagship wine in the Shafer portfolio is Hillside Select, a 2,400-case cuvée of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 32 months in 100% new French oak. Doug Shafer graduated from the University of California at Davis with a degree in oenology and viticulture in 1983, and a year later Elias Fernandez joined the company as assistant winemaker. The two work together to produce consistent, high quality and elegant Shafer wines.