Shafer FAQs


We hope to reopen for guest visits late in 2021. Please check back for updates.
Yes, through our convenient curbside service. Please visit this page for full details! Or call 1.707.286.9387
Shafer is located at 6154 Silverado Trail, on the east side of the Silverado Trail, about seven miles north of Napa and 3/4 of a mile south of the Yountville Cross Road. Distance from San Francisco to Napa is approximately 50 miles. Click here for a map.

Shafer maintains two direct mail lists: one for Hillside Select and one called our “Napa Valley List,” which offers the other wines in our portfolio.

The “Napa Valley List,” which makes available Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, TD-9, One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon and Relentless, is currently open. The “Hillside Select List” is closed, however, you can sign up for the Waiting List to be added as spots become available. To sign up for one or both of these lists, please click here.

Click here to locate Shafer wine in major U.S. markets or check out our list of domestic and international distributors.

Our first commitment is to ensure your wine arrives in peak condition. While our goal is to ship soon after you order, weather can delay this process. During summer months, in many cases, we can ship your wine overnight with cold packs to protect it from heat in transit. However, in periods of extreme heat your shipment will need to be held in order to avoid damage.

If you prefer to ship via FedEx Cold Chain, please make a note in the comments section of your order. Please note that Cold Chain can only be delivered to a FedEx store near you where it will be held at no cost for up to five days.

Please call or email the winery with any questions or concerns about your wine shipment. We are happy to work with you to achieve the best results.

Approximate number of years from vintage date Shafer considers optimum:

Optimum drinking Length of Aging
Red Shoulder Ranch® Chardonnay Release - 5 years
TD-9® Release - 8 years
One Point Five® Cabernet Sauvignon Release - 10 years
Relentless® Release - 15 to 20 years
Hillside Select® Cabernet Sauvignon Release - 20 years

Click here for the complete Hillside Select tasting notes.

Wines in larger format bottles age more slowly. Remember, all of Shafer's wines are made to be immediately drinkable upon release.

It’s meant to convey the importance of the father and son partnership that is the core of Shafer Vineyards. The family business story you hear most often is the second-generation tale, where a parent hands an established, profitable business over to a son or daughter. Things happened a little differently here. John started the winery in 1978 and released the first wine in 1981. Doug joined as winemaker just two years later, when the success of the winery was still not a foregone conclusion. They learned the winery business together, working so closely for so long they coined the term “a generation and a half” to describe their partnership. The One Point Five name plays off of that idea. This label is meant as a tribute to the Shafer commitment to family business and to Stags Leap District, our home of more than 40 years.
We wanted to honor our winemaker Elias Fernandez, part of the Shafer team for more than 30 years, and his relentless pursuit of quality. No detail is too small. On bottling days he arrives at the winery at 5 a.m. and personally steam cleans every fitting and every hose that comes in contact with the wine. He inspects every oak barrel and mandates ultra-high quality from all our suppliers. To maintain quality in our corks he worked meticulously with our supplier to re-invent every step a cork makes from the cork forests of Portugal to their arrival on our doorstep. Our suppliers describe Elias as “disciplined,” “focused,” “extraordinarily organized,” “pain in the neck” and “very demanding.” In other words, relentless. This wine is a liquid testament to Elias’s outstanding skill, tenacity, and tireless quest for the best-of-the-best.
The name is meant to honor our partners in the vineyard, who control the populations of moles and gophers – flying predators such as Red Shouldered Hawks, Red Tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, Golden Eagles and Barn Owls. As part of our long-term commitment to sustainable agriculture (since the late 1980s) we’ve erected hawk perches and owl nesting boxes to provide places from which these raptors can hunt the rodents who would otherwise eat young vine roots.
No. To preserve the wine’s natural acidity and true varietal character, our Chardonnay only undergoes primary fermentation in individual barrels. To achieve softness in the mouth, the wine ages on the lees.
Wild yeast, or native yeast, grows naturally in the great out of doors. The yeasts from our Red Shoulder Ranch vineyard imparts complexity to the wine.
We’ve produced Hillside Select since 1983.
Shafer maintains two direct mail lists: one for Hillside Select and one called our “Napa Valley List,” which offers the other wines in our portfolio.

The “Napa Valley List,” which makes available Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, TD-9, One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon and Relentless, is currently open. The “Hillside Select List” is closed, however, you can sign up for the Waiting List to be added as spots become available. To sign up for one or both of these lists, please click here.
Our first commitment is to ensure your wine arrives in peak condition. While our goal is to ship soon after you order, weather can delay this process. During summer months, in many cases, we can ship your wine overnight with cold packs to protect it from heat in transit. However, in periods of extreme heat your shipment will need to be held in order to avoid damage. Likewise, during winter months wine shipments occasionally need to be held during periods of extreme cold.

Please call or email the winery with any questions or concerns about your wine shipment. We are happy to work with you to achieve the best results.
To remain active on the “Napa Valley list” you’ll need to purchase at least two bottles from our mail list program per year. However, we advise that you order your wine within four weeks of the release date; after that time the wine is often unavailable.
That’s no problem. We can take your order over the phone at the time we release the wine.
Your card is charged when we log your order into our system. 
It varies from vintage to vintage. As the name suggests, we produce the wine from selected blocks of vines from our hillside vineyards. The production level has been as low as 1,800 cases, but is typically about 2,400 cases.
Yes, currently we’ve made a small allocation of Hillside Select available through our Curbside Service program. Please visit this page for full details! Or call 1.707.286.9387
We’ve been fortunate to receive many great wine scores. However we believe that wine reviewers devote a lot of time and talent to weaving together mouthwatering sensory descriptions. We’d hate to see numbers take precedence over delicious descriptors such as roasted hazel nuts, pencil, citrus oils, saddle leather, oak, tobacco, and licorice. For us, that’s what wine is all about.
You’ll find the southern border of the District about six miles north of the town of Napa on Silverado Trail. If you keep going north you’ll leave the District about four minutes later at Yountville Crossroad. It’s only 1,300 acres planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon. There is no town here. Just grapes, wild turkeys, rattle snakes and a few homes and wineries here and there. It’s changed little since the Shafer family moved here in 1973.
Those are tartrates, a natural component of grape juice and wine. Over time small amounts can crystallize on the bottom of the cork. The crystals are not only harmless but are the basis for cream of tartar, commonly used in baking.Those are tartrates, a natural component of grape juice and wine. Over time small amounts can crystallize on the bottom of the cork. The crystals are not only harmless but are the basis for cream of tartar, commonly used in baking.
Yes. At no point in production do they come in contact with any animal products.
We believe they do. Cultivating grapes using sustainable farming has lead to an increase in the macronutrients in the newly crushed juice, such as nitrogen and amino acides. This creates cleaner fermentations and purer varietal flavors in the wine.
If you would like a replacement bottle we ask that you please send the bottle back with the majority of wine still inside. (If you send an empty bottle we have no way of evaluating the condition of the wine.) Once received, we will evaluate the wine and learn what we can of its condition. Over the years, based on bottles sent to us by customers, we have learned a great deal about steps we can take to avoid this problem altogether. If the wine is corked we will be happy to replace it. 

Why did Shafer switch to Diam corks?
We don’t want a single bottle of Shafer wine to be corked. Ever. Over the past 30+ years we went to extraordinary lengths to eliminate the presence of TCA in the natural corks we used and have been 98% to 99% successful. That wasn’t good enough. We want to be 100% TCA-free and using Diam corks will get us there.

What is a Diam cork?
A Diam cork is made from 100% real cork that is ground and run through a process that, at the molecular level, eliminates TCA (the chemical compound that causes wines to be “corked”) and other microbial contaminants that produce off flavors. Wine corks are produced in France from this clean ground cork using an FDA-approved, food-grade binding agent. For more details on the process visit this URL: http://www.diam-closures.com/Process-en

What do you like about Diam corks?
We have tested Diam corks in trials for more than 10 years and have come to believe the company’s guarantee that its corks are 100 percent free of TCA. In addition, these corks offer something else that natural corks cannot – a guarantee of the amount of oxygen the cork allows into the bottle. This is referred to as Oxygen Transfer Rate (OTR). Natural corks, by contrast, have inconsistent density and permeability, which means a variable amount of oxygen is allowed into the bottle. Using a Diam cork ensures that your wine won’t be “over the hill” before its time.

How are Diam different from other composite corks?
Unlike other composite corks, Diam uses a safe, clean process to eliminate TCA from ground natural cork – it’s the same process used to remove caffeine from coffee beans. Also, Diam engineers its corks to guarantee a consistent rate at which oxygen is allowed into the bottle over time. This ensures that every bottle will age in your cellar at a similar rate.

Can Diam corks be recycled like natural corks?
Yes. Most corks collected in recycling bins are re-purposed to make cork flooring, as such, Diam is perfectly useful.

Can I trust the Diam corks in your wines?
Yes. We have tested these corks for more than 10 years and would not use them it we did not fully believe they are what’s best for the wine.