Hawk & Horse Blog

At 2,200 feet, our Red Hills vineyard is moving beautifully through veraison. Today is August 19th and we are about 50% through veraison. Tonnage looks slightly more than our usual 2-tons per acre - a nice average for this rugged mountain terrain. It is still anyone's guess, but we are thinking a slightly late harvest maybe into October - November for our Latigo/Port which we harvest late in the season.


Veraison is when we begin to see the beginning of purple coloration on the fruit on our red varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, etc.). This signifies the beginning of ripening. And, this process has begun. As of this week we are seeing just a few berries on each cluster with hints of purple overlaying the green.

The growing season this year has been rather constant - but not without variation. We had a heating trend in July with temperatures into and above 100 degrees. But we have also had some refreshing cool days in the 70s and low 80s - and even a hint of drizzle once or twice. While it is still anybody's guess, I am feeling like it may be a late harvest this year. I also see this as the kind of growing season that will bring us fruit of distinction. The long growing season will lend complexity to the fruit. We are seeing clusters that are long and open with thick skinned berries. These "open" clusters are able to resist mildew growth. This is a real blessing should we have any rains before harvest. The thick skins are what will make this vintage super flavorful.

Did you know that red wines derive all of their color from the skins? The flesh of the fruit is a very pale shade of translucent off-white. The thick, dark skins of Cabernet Sauvignon imbue the wine with color and phenols which flavor the wine - and provide the health benefits associated with moderate wine consumption. So pour yourself a glass of your favorite Cabernet and enjoy - you deserve it!


Visitors to our tasting room often ask me about our horses - how many do we have, do we ride them, what kind of riding we do, what their names are, etc. I really enjoy talking about the horses and introducing them to you. So I thought I'd share them individually with those of you who may not be able to make it out here to meet them in person.

We have ten horses. We use them for ranch work - riding the back of the property to check the fence line and survey the property and occasionally some cattle management. Our most athletic horses are also ridden in rodeos and gymkhanas. Our youngest is in training.

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Gift of Diamonds. "Diamond" is my first equine love. She is the first horse I purchased and learned to ride English. I met Diamond one day when we were shopping for a pony for our then 4-year old daughter, Frankie. We went to a charming little property in Kelseyville - Argonaut Farms, owned by Barbara Krobarth - to see a couple of ponies that she had for sale. Neither of the ponies was just right, but as we were talking with Barbara a dark bay mare stuck her chiseled face out from a cozy stall and purred at me. That's right, she purred at me. I couldn't resist. I asked Barbara who the mare was and she said "Oh, that's Diamond...she's for sale too.”

We weren't in the market for a horse for me and I didn't know anything about American Saddlebreds, but I could not get that beautiful mare out of my mind. I got online and researched American Saddlebred horses. I very much liked what I saw. I found a local breeder who invited us out to her ranch to learn more and meet some foals.

That visit has brought me two of the dearest friendships - that of Barbara Molland, the owner of Far Field Farm American Saddlebred ranch in Petaluma and that of my horse Diamond.

Diamond was the first horse we had purchased for the ranch since taking over running it. Having a horse on theproperty brought the entire place to life - animated, literally, the empty pastures and brought cheer each time you'd pass by that kind and lovely animal. Last year, Diamond, who is now 19 years old, gave us a beautiful baby boy whom we call "Bling." We haven't given him his registered name yet - but that will be the subject of my next posting. Stay tuned - and happy trails!

Enjoy this cartoon by local cartoonist, Mark Klein.

Do you like wine? Do you like chocolate? Do you like food?
Then you should know…
Lake County Wine Adventure Weekend is fast approaching!
July 27th& 28th 10 am - 5 pm

The 9th annual Wine Adventure weekend is a passport to a good time. This incredibly priced two day event is full of music, food, wine and great times. Whether it’s a girls’ weekend, a romantic getaway or a mother-daughter bonding trip, make the most of it discovering the beauty of Lake County.

A visit to the Lake County website will reveal that although surrounded by famous wine producing areas, Lake County is “the best-kept secret wine region.” Lake County, also often referred to as “The Undiscovered Wine Country,” is known for producing premium quality wines. Surrounding counties, such as Napa, have been purchasing grapes from Lake County for many years fully aware of the excellent fruit that the microclimate produces.

Make sure to stop in at Hawk and Horse Vineyards, where we will be entertaining with live music. You won’t want to miss our exclusively made Latigo-infused Woodhouse Chocolates!

Ticket Details
Tickets are $35/person and can be purchased online or for $45/person the day of the event at any participating winery.

Hawk and Horse Vineyards