In 1986, Ernie and Irit Weir bought the ranch on Silverado Trail, which at the time housed about 12 acres of planted Pinot Noir and Chenin Blanc. That same year, they decided to top-graft the Chenin Blanc to Cabernet Franc. In '97, half of the vineyard was replaced with clone 7 and clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Just two short years after that the other portion of the vineyard was replaced with the same clones. Having a vast knowledge of viticulture and farming practices, Ernie decided to trellis and train these young vines using the Geneva Double Curtain system. With its divided canopy, this system provided our vines double the space to thrive, ultimately enhancing the fruitfulness of the crop.
As the Hagafen Cellars brand grew, the Weirs decided it was time to build their own winery and tasting room on the Silverado Trail estate. In the year 2000, the winery was built, allowing Ernie to produce his first ever Hagafen estate bottled vintage! Prior to the construction of the winery, Hagafen wines were custom crushed at other facilities. One year later, the Hagafen Cellars tasting room was officially opened, allowing Ernie and Irit to host private tastings for their most valued brand loyalists. Their goal was to create an environment that was reminicent of home: a place where all are welcome and encouraged to enjoy wine alongside friendly faces. While the tasting room has undergone a facelift or two over the past two decades, it still remains just as charming as day one!
After the 2017 Atlas Peak wildfires, the Hagafen Estate got quite the makeover. With a heavy-heart, Ernie and his team made the decision to remove and replant the North-most end of the vineyard in late Spring of 2019. A grand total of 7,500 new Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted! While the rootstock remained the same, clone 8 was used instead of the previously planted clones 7 and 337. In addition to changing the clone for this vineyard, Ernie and his team agreed that adopting a new trellis system would be beneficial as well. The trellis system is called VSP, or Vertical Shoot Positioning. As these vines mature in the years to come, this system will not only make it easier for the workers to farm the vineyard, but produce higher quality fruit overall! Anticipating the first harvest of this vineyard to be in the Fall of 2021, Ernie is expecting a modest amount of fruit.
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