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Fall Newsletter 2018

18th Dec 2018 @ 15:39 by Kristen


The 2018 growing season started out with a bang as the early and prolonged heat-wave in June had everyone bracing for an early harvest. Turns out, the weather had other plans as unseasonably cool temps settled into the region throughout July and August, resulting in one of the latest harvests we've had in years! We are pleased to see the crop levels in our vineyards are abundant yet not over-cropped. The vines are experiencing longer ripening periods which will help allow for full flavor development, while the cooler temps of the past couple months will help retain acidity in the fruit. In areas where nighttime temperatures remain warm grapes continue to develop at night, and instead of using photosynthesis as energy, they utilize the acid in the berries. Fortunately for us, Sonoma County boasts a wide diurnal variation (hot days, cool nights) which is perfect for giving the vines a chance to rest and to maintain acid levels.


John Hawley has been an avid falconer since the age of 15. Here are some endearing tidbits about his current bird, Max, a Peregrine Falcon he has raised as a hatchling:

  • Flight Speed: Up to 240 miles an hour in a dive.
  • Wingspan: 3.3 to 3.6ft.
  • Accommodations: He slept in the bed with John for the first week and now lives in a hawk house called a mews.
  • Training: Max is currently training to chase a lure that John swings to mimic prey. In a few weeks he will be ready to hunt game..
  • Favorite Food: In the wild falcons hunt ducks, dove, and quail. Max gets farm raised quail for dinner.
  • Job: Falconry was developed around 2000 B.C. to hunt game. Today, falcons are used for bird abatement around airports, dumps and vineyards. Max helps keep birds away from our estate grapes before harvest..