Hawk and Horse Vineyards – Now Open for Tours and TastingsPosted by Organic Wine Journal on May 12, 2010 in Press Releases
Lake County, CA: The Boies and Hawkins families cordially invite you to visit their Demeter Biodynamic 900 acre ranch and vineyard Estate where they will meet you in person. Hawk and Horse Vineyards is situated in Lower Lake, California, on the historic 900 acre Diamond B Ranch, owned by famed New York attorney, David Boies and family. Mitch and Tracey Hawkins (Tracey is Mr. Boies step-daughter) are the managing partners of Hawk and Horse Vineyards. They have transformed 18 acres of the rough, California North Coast hillside land from an untamed and overgrown 150-year old walnut grove to the beautifully manicured, yet naturally wild vineyard. Owl boxes, hawk perches and bluebird boxes dot the landscape. French Prune trees are planted on the perimeter of the vineyard to encourage beneficial insects – and the vine-rows, themselves, are carpeted in a carefully selected mix of beneficial ground cover – crimson clover, yarrow, bell-beans, and other low-growing flowering plants and herbs which encourage beneficial insects.
“We have been flying under the radar, producing very small quantities of ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon wine made from grapes from our own vineyard and selling it direct. Now we have opened our ranch and vineyard for tours and on-site tastings. We have been blessed with all of the natural elements needed to make a wine of world-class distinction – high-elevation volcanic soil, natural spring water, and climate perfectly suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon. We have taken these elements carefully in hand and created what we feel are wines that offer something very unique – a wine that truly expresses the finest elements of our teroir. Our commitment has been to producing a wine of the highest excellence.“ , says Tracey Hawkins.
“We believe that the wine is made in the vineyard and adhere to old-world farming and wine making practices. We harvest our grapes when the balance of sugar, acid and ph are at just the right balance. Ripeness is an expression of all of those things along with the time-tested method of taste. Bringing in fruit at its optimal maturity means that we have very little to do in the winery and that our wines are made in the most natural way to complement each vintage. We incorporate Biodynamic and Organic farming practices, not because it is trendy, but, simply, because it is the best way to make a wine which is true to place – a wine distinct and expressive of our unique terroir.”
Farming is done by hand. No chemical preparations are used. Instead, Hawk and Horse Vineyards applies Biodynamic preparations – made from elements on site – to enliven the soil. Valuable compost along with Biodynamic preparations such as 500 – Horn Dung; 501 – Horn Cilicia, and herbal teas are made and used. A small herd of Scottish Highlander cattle make their home on Diamond B Ranch – their sole purpose being to provide the basic ingredients of the Biodynamic Preparations used in the vineyard. The Highlanders are an ancient breed known for hardiness, ease in calving, high quality beef and superb hides. They also add a sense of loveliness and grace to the landscape. In addition to the Highlanders, Horses play a role in the daily work on HHV. Mitch and Tracey use their American Saddlebred horses to ride the fence line, while daughters, Francesca and Nina Hawkins compete in traditional Rodeo and Gymkhana events.
Another old-world aspect of Hawk and Horse Vineyards – when you phone to purchase wines, you’ll speak directly with owner, Tracey Hawkins. She will be happy to talk wine, farming or horses with you. If you get Mitch, speak loudly as he will most likely be on a tractor!