Hawk and Horse Vineyards was really the dream of the owner, David Boies. His love of wine and of California’s North Coast wine growing region drove him to seek out a unique property that would support a vineyard of world class distinction. In 1982, after exhaustive searching he purchased what was then known as the historic El Roble Grande Ranch in Lower Lake, California. At that time, El Roble Grande was a rather run-down abandoned horse breeding facility situated on 900 acres of wilderness. David’s vision of perfect growing conditions, such as rich soil, fresh water and clean air, transcended preconceived notions about county affiliations. David saw the high elevation sites, red volcanic soils, on-site water sources, pristine air and the rugged natural beauty of this most special place, and realized this was a land of great potential. His vision saw the opportunity to create something very unique and authentic from this wild land and that vision has now come to fruition. Mitch and Tracey took over the daily operations of the ranch in 1999 and began to plan the vineyard. The vines were planted in 2001 and the first release, the 2004, was met with an International Gold Medal. It was important to the family that they maintain the original feel of the property. Lake County is still Cowboy country and Hawk and Horse Vineyards takes advantage of a local work force of young men and women – true cowboys and girls – who understand the value of a good day’s work. The rustic elegance of El Roble Grande has been maintained in the development of Hawk and Horse Vineyards. The tasting room is in a part of the former horse trainer’s residence and is kept as a tack room with antique saddles, tack and memorabilia from the property’s storied past. The horse pastures now house a handful of American Saddlebred and American Quarter Horses which the family uses to ride the fence line and for play at amateur rodeo events. Some of the pasture land is also home to Scottish Highlander Cattle which provide the necessary elements of the biodynamic farming used in the growing of Hawk and Horse Vineyards wine. The majority of vineyard preparations are made on site – compost and manure are vital ingredients. The vineyard is also home to a large number of Red-Tail Hawks who help keep rodent populations in check. A visit to Hawk and Horse Vineyards is a step back to the gracious ranching life and family-based hospitality of a bygone era.
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