Hawk Hill Vineyard was named for the Red Tail and Cooper’s hawks that are seen regularly riding the thermals above the vineyard. The wind and coastal influence of the nearby ocean are the defining features that, in conjunction with the outstanding Goldridge soils, produce extraordinary Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. The vineyard is approximately 24.9 acres in size. Just over 13 acres are under grapes. The soils are Goldridge fine sandy loam, famous for producing some of the world’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. These soils have their origin in ancient shallow seabeds and have significant influence from eroded volcanic ash. This makes the soil slightly acidic.
Two premium quality varietals are planted: Chardonnay (clone 5 on 3309 rootstock); and Pinot Noir (Pommard Clone 4 on 3309 rootstock, and Dijon Clone 115 on 3309 rootstock). The vines face south/southeastward with an elevation of 386 ft (117.95m) at its low point, to 610 ft (185.9m) at the high point. This range of elevation helps keep the vineyard above the fog line much of the time, improving ripening characteristics. The cool, marine influence lengthens the ripening time. This extended hang time allows the fruit to achieve incredible sugar accumulation while maintaining fruit acid. Trellising is done via a modified Scott Henry system. Two fruiting wires are maintained with canopy canes trained upward, to gather sunlight, and another set of canes trained downward to collect and concentrate heat. All vineyard work, including harvest, is done by hand pruning.
Owners Margaret and Bill Yarak continue the longstanding tradition of meticulous farming at Hawk Hill Vineyard. Their golden retriever Indy lives for time in the vineyard and can often be spotted riding copilot in their all terrain vehicle.