Owner Biography – Mitch Hawkins
Mitch and Tracey Hawkins along with Tracey’s step-dad, David Boies and the Boies family, partnered to create Hawk and Horse Vineyards.
Mitch Hawkins was born on October 1, 1960 in Oakley, California. He grew up in a ranching family in California’s Delta region where his grandfather raised cattle and kept horses. As a boy, Mitch began working alongside his grandfather and learned about ranching and caring for the land.
After a successful bartending career in San Francisco’s East Bay, Mitch attended U.C. Berkeley where he completed a certificate program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies. He was the director of Duffy’s, a substance abuse rehab clinic in Calistoga, for five years. When he met Tracey, his future wife, in 1998, Mitch had returned to his ranching roots and was running a Hanoverian horse ranch in Knights Valley. Tracey had just begun to manage the El Roble Grande Ranch property for her family. In 1999 Mitch and Tracey took over the daily operations of the ranch and began to plan the vineyard.
Mitch has studied wine grape growing extensively and is now an authority on Organic and Biodynamic wine grape farming. One of the things Mitch appreciates about biodynamic farming is the camaraderie of the biodynamic wine growing community. Mitch and Tracey are charter members of “Kids’ Table,” a Napa Valley-based biodynamic think-tank. Several prestigious Napa Valley wineries come to Hawk & Horse Vineyards for the ‘raw ingredients’ needed for biodynamic protocols – compliments of a small herd of Scottish Highlander cattle that Mitch and Tracey keep on the ranch. Mitch and Tracey also take pride in mentoring local youth in ranching, farming and vineyard and winery management.
Along with spending time with his family, Mitch enjoys ranching, farming, grilling and horseback riding on his dark bay Quarterhorse mare, Sandy Spark. He can most often be found in the vineyard where Red-tailed hawks scream their territorial cries.