Legendary Napa Valley vintner John Shafer dies at 94

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Legendary Northern California vintner John Shafer, who was part of a generation that helped elevate sleepy Napa Valley into the international wine powerhouse it is today, has died. He was 94.

Shafer Vineyards announced Monday that its founder died Saturday in Napa. A cause of death was not released.

Shafer was 48 when he moved his family to California, purchasing a hillside vineyard well past its prime. But he saw promise in the soil, and in 1978 he produced the first Shafer Vineyards wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon.

He was known for wine, but in later years Shafer devoted time to raising money for local causes, including housing and health care for low-income people.

“He would say, ‘The best thing I did was improve people’s lives here.’ He was really proud of that,” said son Doug Shafer, who is president of Shafer Vineyards.

Trending:
Gunmen Ambush Ammo Caravan Headed to Texas, 7 Million Rounds Destined for America Now in Hands of Violent Criminals

Shafer was born Oct. 11, 1924, and grew up in Glencoe, Illinois, a small suburb outside Chicago. He volunteered for service in World War II before moving into a career in publishing.

Doug Shafer said his father was vice president of long-range planning for educational publishing house Scott, Foresman & Co. in Chicago when he kept hearing about what was sure to be the next new thing: wine.

His dad went out to California with an eye toward investment possibilities but then decided to move the family, with two children still at home, to California in 1973.

Doug Shafer said his dad didn’t even drink wine.

“We’re Chicago boys,” he said. “We’re bourbon and beer.”

Shafer is survived by daughter Libby Shafer of St. Helena, and sons Doug Shafer of St. Helena and Brad Shafer of San Francisco.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation