Spear Vineyards & Winery is a family owned, in-house farmed and certified organic vineyard nestled in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills Appellation. At Spear, our hope is to craft wines that transparently communicate our estate vineyard’s voice with the utmost lucidity and sincerity. We invite you to join our soil to glass experience.
Ofer Shepher’s interest in the local wine community germinated very early on and continued to resonate within him throughout his college and post-college career. Weekend camping trips to the Santa Ynez Valley sparked an unyielding desire to pursue coastal wines. He began his winemaking studies at Davis in 2004, which propelled a move to the historic Gnesa Ranch in 2005. Being surrounded by the Santa Rita Hills was truly inspirational from a viticultural and enological standpoint. From that moment forward, Ofer’s sole focus was the Santa Rita Hills appellation. He spent the next seven years patiently searching for what would prove to be the ideal location to plant and build his dream vineyard and winery.
As a child, Ofer would spend summers in Israel working on the kibbutz his mother grew up on. This communal farming background not only afforded Ofer a tremendously diverse skill set, it also set the tone for a collaborative work ethic focused predominantly on agriculture. These formative years continue to influence the stewardship of every aspect at Spear Vineyards, where every stage of the wine growing process is given equal priority. The goal is the beauty of the total system where everything and everyone is supported and appreciated. With these alignments, we hope to adhere to the Spear motto of: “Wine that tastes like where it came from.”
Raised in Colorado, Kathleen Gaffney’s interest in wine started while working at a 5-star restaurant after college. During the weekly staff wine tastings, her interest in wine soon piqued, leading her to pursue her Level 1 certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers. After passing, she left Colorado for a 6-week internship in San Luis Obispo, where she worked at a winery in the Edna Valley. While performing daily cellar operations and grape analysis, Kat came to realization that she didn’t want to just pour great wine in a restaurant, she wanted to take a more hands-on approach and be one of the people actually making the wine.
Kat enrolled in extension classes through U.C. Davis and made her home on the Central Coast, where she’s spent the last several years working at notable California wineries between harvests in Oregon and New Zealand. Kat joined Spear Winery in 2017 as associate winemaker, bringing her experience in wine hospitality, cellar operations, production and assistant winemaking to her new role. Kat was promoted to winemaker in January 2018. By taking a less intrusive approach to winemaking, Kat’s goal at Spear is to let the grapes and vineyard shine, making wine that is a true reflection of the place those grapes come from.
In her downtime, Kat enjoys hiking, yoga and camping. She also loves to spend time in the kitchen baking anything and everything, especially homemade sourdough bread.