The Wines of Faith Armstrong-Foster, Part 3 of 3: Hawkeye Ranch, Redwood Valley, Mendocino County


Hawkeye Ranch Vineyards, from the Mendocino Winegrowers Association:

‘The site is stunning in a naturalistic yet unpretentious way. Redwood Valley is very far north for a California appellation; Hawkeye Ranch sits at 722 ft elevation and is located in the upper reaches of the Russian River Drainage in Mendocino County. The soil type is Pinole Gravelly Loam, which provides excellent drainage and promotes low vigor. These heritage vines were planted in the 1970′s; the vines are the Martini clone, a clone selected by Louis Martini, and now quite rare because most of the older vines have been replanted. The vineyard is in a wonderfully harmonious place where crop load and vine vigor are naturally balanced, allowing for an organic farming style that promotes slow, steady fruit maturation. This gives rise to wonderfully delicate, yet highly textured full bodied wines. Another important distinction of this vineyard is about the growers themselves; the vineyard is fifth generation family owned and the family could not be more down-to-earth and invested in the quality of their grapes. They are the kind of people I am truly proud to work with. If I were to sum them up in one word it would be: Integrity.’
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2013 Onward “Hawkeye Vineyard” Rosé of Pinot Noir Redwood Valley
This rosé of 100% Pinot Noir comes from the Hawkeye Ranch in Mendocino’s Redwood Valley. She pressed whole clusters gently and bled off 20% of the juice after both the second and third days to concentrate the remaining juice on the skin. She cold settled the must that was bled off and fermented it at cool temperatures in stainless steel. After primary fermentation, she allowed ML and performed battonage while the wine aged briefly in neutral French Oak barrels.

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2012 Onward “Hawkeye Vineyard” Pinot Noir Redwood Valley

The berries for this wine were de-stemmed and then transferred to open-top fermenters where they cold-soaked for seven days prior to fermentation. During fermentation, she performed punchdowns to mix the must with the skins, allowing moderate temperatures. After fermenting dry, she pressed the wine off and sent it to age in barrels for 12 months (20% new French Oak and the rest neutral French Oak) in contact with the light lees and stirred occasionally. Movement from tank to tank was done in the absence of oxygen.