Shafer Vineyards

John’s Upper Seven
2021 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley

2023 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 27 | Lot No. 113
Vintage: 2021

Shafer Vineyards

John’s Upper Seven

Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley

5 cases produced


  • John’s Upper Seven was the first block of hillside Cabernet Sauvignon planted by John Shafer
  • This seven-acre vineyard block was the first of 14 planted on Shafer’s hillside estate vineyards
  • These hillside vines produce small clusters of blueberry-sized grapes full of concentrated flavor
  • This arid, rugged vineyard has produced classic, elegant Cabernet Sauvignon since 1978


In the mid-1970s, John Shafer planted his first seven acres on the hillside property the family purchased in late 1972. Hillsides hadn’t been planted in Napa Valley since the late 1800s and there was little knowledge of how to do so successfully. John learned by doing. By 1978 this vineyard block was the first on our hillsides ready for harvest. Even 45 years later, the Cabernet Sauvignon from that first vintage is remarkable, showing delicate, elegant aromas and flavors along with a verve and brightness. Fruit from John’s Upper Seven block remains to this day a mainstay in Hillside Select.

Wine Facts

  • Single vineyard wine
  • Sustainably produced
  • Wine is 100% estate grown and bottled

Elias Fernandez

Winemaker, Shafer Vineyards

Winemaker, Elias Fernandez

When I graduated from UC Davis, I knew I wanted to work for a smaller winery that would give me the chance to be a "hands-on" winemaker, getting involved in all aspects of running a cellar. I had a lot of excitement getting into this career and that excitement has stayed with me.

Country born: United States

Education: B.S. in Fermentation Science from U.C. Davis

Years in the wine industry: 30+ years

Honors / Awards:
"Winemaker of the Year" - Wine & Spirits magazine; inducted into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund's Hispanic Hall of Fame at The White House

Winemaking Philosophy:
Coming into this more than 30 years ago, I thought that winemaking happened underneath the roof of the cellar. Today who I am as a winemaker has umbrellaed in a big way. Winemaking starts in January with pruning and continues throughout the year. I'm not just selecting the best fruit, I'm selecting the best corks, the right barrel staves, ensuring that the bottling line is working at top efficiency. What I've also learned is to let the land dictate the best grape variety and the style of the wine that ends up in the bottle.

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