SPRING TIME IN SONOMA COUNTY
The vineyards are blanketed with radiant yellow mustard flowers. The cover crop, once waist high, is tilled into the soil to provide nutrients to the vines. Buds are pushing and shoots are reaching out from the grapevines. Everything is fresh and growing. We have had a wet March and the rain has done a lot to alleviate the drought. The vines are happy and ready to kick off the growing season.
John’s new Goshawk, named Happy, is becoming a great hunter. This spring he will lose the brown juvenile plumage and emerge dark gray. His eyes will also change color to red-orange. John trains with him daily, flying in the vineyard after a lure. He started hunting game birds, like pheasant, this winter and Happy is proving to be a good hunter. The mews, or hawk house, sits above the vineyard where Happy keeps a close eye out for rabbits that sneak in to the vineyard for a nibble on the fresh buds.
IT TAKES A LOT OF BEER TO MAKE WINE
The old saying in the wine business rings especially true at Hawley. Paul and Meghan Hawley’s small brewery, Fogbelt, celebrated its second anniversary and has begun bottling and distributing locally. The taproom is often packed and the kitchen is serving up some amazing plates. They are getting ready to release their first barrel aged sour beer, aged in old Zin barrels with late harvest Zinfandel grapes.
Austin Hawley started working full-time at the winery, with his dad and brother, after graduating college in 2006. After ten vintages working alongside his dad, Austin has been taking over winemaking at Hawley Winery. He is proud of the new wines and excited to share them. John is still at the winery every day, but it’s not easy to just stop doing something that has been your life for 40 years; especially when you still live on the vineyard! 2016 marks Hawley’s 20th vintage and the 1996 Merlot from the estate is still tasting fantastic! The winery has come a long way from the one-man-show that John ran for 10 years before Paul and Austin joined him, but the one thing that has stayed the same is the passion to make great wines.