Hayfork Wine Co

By / Photography By Robb McDonough | August 25, 2017
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Erik Dodd and Haley Wight (with refractometer)


Haley Wight’s family has been farming their historic St. Helena property since her great-great-great-grandfather John Lewelling established a farmstead there in 1864.

Now owned by members of her extended family, the 250-acre Lewelling Ranch consists of 90 acres planted to grapes and 160 acres of uncultivated natural hillside. Haley’s husband, Erik Dodd, and her father, Doug Wight, manage the vineyard.

Since 1983, Doug, now 66, has farmed vineyards up and down the Napa Valley through his company, Wight Vineyard Management. Haley, 37, and Erik, 43, met when they were both serving as park rangers in Olympic National Park. Erik, originally from Port Townsend, Washington, and Haley were excited to return to Haley’s roots in the Napa Valley and the opportunity to farm. The couple has two young children who look to be the seventh generation of John Lewelling’s descendants to steward their family’s land and legacy.

Haley, Erik and Doug also make wine under their own label, Hayfork Wine Co., sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Lewelling Ranch and Grenache Blanc grapes from the Kenefick Ranch in Calistoga.

Haley is the winemaker for Hayfork—producing “exceptional results,” wrote sommelier and author Kelli White in her book Napa Valley, Then & Now (Rudd Press, 2015). Haley credits long hours spent as a cellar worker rather than any formal enological education with teaching her how to craft outstanding wines that capture the spirit of the land on which the grapes were grown. The name Hayfork is a nod to the venture’s guiding principal: We strongly believe that the hands of the farmer in the field lay the foundation necessary to produce a quality wine.

Article from Edible Marin & Wine Country at http://ediblemarinandwinecountry.ediblecommunities.com/drink/hayfork-wine-co
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