An Unforgettable Journey: Inside the Harlan Estate Winery with Don Weaver


wine tasting at harlan estate winery

Last year at The Roots Fund inaugural fundraiser, we purchased the "Harlan Experience" lot that included 3 magnums of Harlan and a visit for 8 people at the estate. 

What we didn’t know was that our visit would be hosted by Don Weaver, the managing director that started with Bill Harlan back in the mid-1980s. 

Our group was giddy as we drove up the hill from the valley floor and crossed through the hallow gates of Harlan Estate. Don greeted us, and from start to finish he was a generous and gracious host, as well as remarkably humble and transparent. 

During the 3-hour visit, which included a tour of the grounds, we got to see the new Weaver Library and Cellar, (barrel tasting of the 2021 vintage!) which houses Don’s one-of-a-kind collection of banknotes and tools that were used to inspire the original Harlan Estate label, as well as the labels for Bond, Maiden, Mascot, Promontory and of course, the Napa Valley Reserve

Don and our friend Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grille have been friends for years, and their long relationship enhanced our time, as we laughed and bantered the entire visit. 

Don did a great job transparently sharing stories about their 6-year journey before making the first production bottle, and the next 8 years before turning a profit. Stories that will make every future bottle of Harlan Estate more meaningful. 

The tour ended in the tasting room, where we drank the new 2018 Harlan and a rarely-seen half-bottle of 2013 Harlan

The overall experience was unforgettable and a true 100-pointer wine!

 harlan estate wine glasses


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