The 100 / #63: David Mahaffey

#63 David Mahaffey Winemake Napa, California, USA

David's images

    • These first two images are in a beautiful garden that is part of a bio-dynamic vineyard near Napa. Love the back lit sunflowers. -- David Mahaffey
    • Ben Brown is mowing between the rows in the hillside chardonnay section of our organic vineyard. Ben is getting to be a very good tractor driver as well as working on his tan. -- David Mahaffey
    • Olivia Brion, a standard poodle and known as Libby to her many friends and admirers, is the only dog around that has a winery named after her. The grapes growing out of her head are the soon to be picked, very special Pinot Noir. -- David Mahaffey
    • After a hard day working in the vineyard, Ben and I decided to paddle downtown on the Napa river for some oysters then ride the ebb tide back home after dark. -- David Mahaffey
    • One of my favorite chickens. A Buff Orpington, I think. A gentle and beautiful bird. -- David Mahaffey
    • I built this cedar-strip canoe many years ago out of Alaska Yellow Ceder and I decided to give it a new coat of finish this spring. It made it look new again. Sometimes people will stop and stare as I drive by with it on the roof of the car. Art you can use. -- David Mahaffey
    • The next four images are of Libby and Linda, my wife, swimming in the lake by the vineyard. It is one of their very favorite activities on a warm summer afternoon. -- David Mahaffey
    • Miss Olivia resting under a one hundred year old zinfandel vine in St Helena near my Palladian Winery. -- David Mahaffey
    • These two guys have strong, handsome faces and real character. They are men who really know the meaning of work. These pictures were taken as the bird netting was placed on the vines and final shoot positioning was finished. -- David Mahaffey
    • This was as close to the rattlesnake as I dared get with the camera, about two feet away. Seeing one close (and I have seen seven or eight this year) always gives me a deep primal excitement. They eat gophers, so they are my friends. -- David Mahaffey
    • This is Shea and Ari. Sweet mom and sweet beautiful boy with a constant astonished look. -- David Mahaffey
    • Linda, Lindy, and me with our collection of pooches out for an evening walk as the light fails. -- David Mahaffey
    • 2012 will be remembered as a special vintage that produced both quality and a big crop of grapes. As I write this, these pinot grapes are now fermented and in the barrel to begin aging. -- David Mahaffey
    • This view looks west across the vineyard toward the hills. the constant breezes from the ocean keep the vineyard a great place to grow chardonnay and pinot noir. -- David Mahaffey
    • The other important part of the terrior of this vineyard is the mineral rich soils. This fractured rock had the same color of blue as the sky that moment. -- David Mahaffey
    • Here's me and my vineyard hat and a big bottle of Olivia Brion pinot noir. This harvest is my 32nd vintage of winemaking. -- David Mahaffey
    • She was painting henna on her hand-- liked her face. -- David Mahaffey
    • Nice smiles and a serious zuccini. The fill flash works nice in back lit full sun. -- David Mahaffey
    • The cave doors and stone wall had interesting texture. This is where I age the Palladian cabernet for two years before its bottled. -- David Mahaffey
    • Linda planted a very productive garden this summer. She even picked a perfect strawberry for me. -- David Mahaffey
    • A very nice family that was visiting the winery. They all liked the 2007 Palladian Cabernet. -- David Mahaffey
    • Linda and Eric celebrating their B-days. -- David Mahaffey
    • Megan singing a new song and playing Millie. Hard to believe it was eight years ago in 2004 that I built that guitar. She plays so very well, and is now recording her new collection of songs. -- David Mahaffey
    • Diane has such nice blue eyes and her blouse really complimented them. -- David Mahaffey
    • Megan and Jim ready for brunch the next morning out on the deck. -- David Mahaffey
    • Another afternoon swimming at the lake... -- David Mahaffey
    • The full qoute is "swimmers into cleanliness leaping" Hard to catch the delicate sparkle on the water. -- David Mahaffey
    • This is what I look like as I go to work. If anybody wants to visit when in Napa, get in touch through my website www.oliviabrion.com -- David Mahaffey

About David

Tell us about yourself:
I worked as a photographer in my twenties, since 1980 I have been a winemaker in the Napa valley. I’m a wood worker, gardener, white water boater and father of two beautiful young women now in their twenties.

What one thing are you most proud of in your 63 years?
I’ve been very lucky and much to be thankful for, beautiful daughters–now young women, lots of adventure travel, but if I had to pick one thing of which I’m proud, it would be becoming a good craftsman. I built the koa Uke, turned the walnut bowl, and made world class pinot noir. Said simply, I’ve taught myself how to learn and master what I’m curious and passionate about.

What one thing would you like to do before you’re 100?
Rebuild a five hundred year old timber frame structure in France and learn the language in the process. Thats a little random, but it’s my current favorite day dream.

What single thing do you think has changed the world in your lifetime?
Clearly the most important thing I’ve seen happen in my lifetime is the realization (however slowly coming) that we have damaged our only home and much will have to change in the way we think and what we value to save the seventh generation from now a place to live.

What piece of advice would you give to your 10 year old self?
Regrets are the most useless things, cultivate Beginners Mind, and buy some Apple stock when it becomes available.

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