The Little Winery That Could Rebounds
from Atlas Peak Fire with New Wines
It’s been nearly a year since the Atlas Peak fire descended upon Hagafen Cellars in Napa Valley and destroyed its tasting room. But, the nearly 40-year-old winery was not hindered by the destruction. All of its wine was protected, and all its grapes had been harvested before the fire. The winery is moving forward with new construction and new wine releases.
“We’re making lemonade out of lemons,” said Hospitality and Marketing Associate Holly Moore. “We had a beautiful area of greenery next to our tasting room before…so we are currently in the process of building an outdoor seated tasting experience in that area. This will be an exciting new addition to what we do here at Hagafen.”
And what they do is make stunning, small-batch wine that pays homage to age-old customs and lineage that may not be as celebrated in the modern wine culture of Napa Valley.
Owners Irit and Ernie Weir founded the winery in 1979 with the intention of producing wine they enjoy drinking. Ernie is the winemaker, and he understands the careful management of the vines to produce the high quality of wine. He says he interferes as little as possible with the soil to maintain balance. “I never seek to change what nature has provided,” he says. “My goal is to showcase the best that our land has produces.”
The winery, which the Weirs call the Little-Winery-That-Could, sits off Silverado Trail among 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The tasting room, housed in a Mediterranean villa, takes advantage of the natural views. The Weirs want visitors to Hagafen to feel their passion for the wine and celebrate in sharing the wine with family and friends.
Hagafen Cellars produces many varietals, including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and White Riesling. The winery recently released four new wines: a 2014 Syrah, a 2016 Chardonnay, a 2016 Syrah and a 2016 Merlot. Reservations are required for wine tastings. Visitors can choose from a current release and reserve tasting menu, both of which include five wines to try and cost $20 per person. That fee is waived with a two-bottle purchase.
Visitors can also try a Library Wines flight, which goes deeper into Hagafen’s history.
The last tasting is at 4:15 p.m. daily.
Visitors can also schedule tours, which run at 10:30 by appointment only every day except Saturdays, holidays and holiday weekends. The tours include a complimentary tasting of one wine en route to the vineyards while visitors learn about Hagafen’s history and grape growing process. The tour encompasses the entire winery estate, finishing on the crush pad to learn about the winemaking process and routine of running the boutique winery.
Tasting and tour reservations can be made by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or calling1-888-HAGAFEN (424-2336) or