We have passed Hagafen Cellars many times driving along the Silverado Trail. Maybe it is because it is easy to miss or we are on a mission to visit another winery. This trip we are each armed with a coupon good for a free tasting at Hagafen that we clipped out of one of the local visitor guides.
The winery has been here on the Silverado Trail since 1980. The winery has been quietly going about the business of making wines without too much notoriety or fanfare. After our visit, we think it is one of Napa’s best-kept secrets.
The tasting room is small but functional, nothing lavish like the majority of Napa Valley tasting rooms. Our host was happy to take our coupons and give us the opportunity to taste the Hagafen wines. Several wines were open for tasting and we enjoyed all of them. We were especially intrigued by the White Riesling made from Lake County grapes, and the Sauvignon Blanc that had a hint of spice to it. The wines were all reasonably priced when compared to most Napa Valley wineries.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Hagafen, is that all their wines are kosher wines. They are the only certified kosher winery in the Napa Valley. We did not learn about this until after we had completed our wine tasting. This goes to show that a good winemaker, in this case Ernie Weir, can make kosher wines that stand up to any Napa Valley winery. Most people have the impression the kosher process makes it difficult to produce good tasting wines. A taste of the Hagafen wines will surely dispel this myth. Our host informs us that Hagafen wines have won at least one gold medal since the their first vintage in the early 1980’s. The wines have also been served at many White House state dinners.
The Good: Reasonably priced wines, many varietals made.
The Bad: We wanted to buy Sauvignon Blanc but they were totally out.