Synopses & Reviews
At the age of 47, when he a successful publishing executive and living with his wife and four children in an affluent Chicago suburb, John Shafer made the surprise announcement that he had purchased a vineyard in the Napa Valley. In 1973, he moved his family to California and, with no knowledge of winemaking, began the journey that would lead him, thirty years later, to own and operate what distinguished wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. called and#147;one of the worldand#8217;s greatest wineries.and#8221; This book, narrated by Shaferand#8217;s son Doug, is a personal account of how his father turned his midlife dream into a remarkable success story.
Set against the backdrop of Napa Valleyand#8217;s transformation from a rural backwater in the 1970s through its emergence today as one of the top wine regions in the world, the book begins with the wineryand#8217;s shaky start and takes the reader through the father and sonand#8217;s ongoing battles against killer bugs, cellar disasters, local politics, changing consumer tastes, and the volatility of nature itself. Doug Shafer tells the story of his own education, as well as Shafer Vineyardsand#8217; innovative efforts to be environmentally sustainable, its role in spearheading the designation of a Stags Leap American Viticultural Area, and how the wine industry has changed in the contemporary era of custom-crushing and hobbyist winery investors.
and#8220;This is also the story of the people who came to Napa Valley in the 1970s from many different walks of life, how they and a young industry came of age, overcoming disappointment, avoiding making the same mistakes twice, and facing realities - both economic and environmental - that are humbling and sobering.and#8221;
and#147;Trends in winemaking come and go but, over the past 40 years, Shafer Vineyards has delivered consistent, high-quality wines regardless of the trends. A Vineyard in Napa
provides an inside look at how wine history is made.and#8221; and#150;Tom Colicchio
and#147;We all have our unique stories as to how we came to the Napa Valleyand chose to call it home. But the Shafer family history is a truly compelling tale and their journey is equally as inspiring. One doesnand#8217;t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate John Shaferand#8217;s story. His son Doug makes it clear why Shafer Vineyards has become one of the iconic wineries in the Valleyand#151;and in the worldand#151;today.and#8221; and#150;Thomas Keller
and#147;Wine at its greatest is not a beverageand#151;itand#8217;s a story. This is the story of the making of an American First Growth. From broken-down tractor to breaking into the highest echelons of world-class wine, Doug Shafer takes us on his familyand#8217;s journey. It is story no American wine lover will want to miss.and#8221; and#150;Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible
About the Author
is President of Shafer Vineyards. He and his father were winners of the 2010 James Beard Foundation Award for and#147;Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional.and#8221;
Andy Demsky is a Napa Valleyand#150;based writer and PR consultant.