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Discovering A New Area: Sangiovese from the White Hawk Vineyard

This year we had the opportunity, albeit last minute, to source some grapes from the White Hawk vineyard in Los Alamos. We normally source our Sangiovese in Paso Robles, but after visiting the vineyard and falling in love with the town, it was hard to turn down the opportunity.

We have sourced our Barbera from Santa Barbara County for the last 5 or 6 years and we look forward to see what the area has to offer for other Italian Varietals.

This year’s harvest has been a somersault of sugars, weather and emotions! Just when you think things are going to come together harvest throws you a curve. After waiting anxiously for our Sangiovese to finish ripening in Paso Robles, we were offered the White Hawk vineyard fruit. During an afternoon in late September I found myself driving down the 101 to visit the area. Even though the area is not too far from Paso Robles, and shares a lot of the same picturesque rolling hills and oak trees, the climate, soil type and water are definitely different.

The Sangiovese is located along a hillside at the very top of the large vineyard. After walking the vineyard and tasting the grapes that night, I got more and more excited; and a few weeks later, we brought in the 2017 Sangiovese. So far, I couldn’t be happier with the fruit. It is always a difficult choice to bring in grapes from an unknown source, especially so far from our previous source, but sometimes you stumble upon things that can open your eyes to something new and exciting!

The other great thing about driving down to Los Alamos was visiting the little town to grab a bite to eat before I made the short trek back to Paso Robles. The town is very quiet during the week and I walked in to what looked like the only restaurant that was open which was called “Pico.”

This combination wine bar and general store was so much fun to stumble upon. Fantastic fresh cuisine and an array of locally made crafts and provisions fill the historic building. Local historic pictures are all over the walls throughout the building. I took a seat in the bar area and enjoyed a very refreshing dinner of yellowtail sashimi and fried zucchini blossoms. I could go on and on about the atmosphere and ambiance, but I will save that for my next trip down to Los Alamos after the season is over.

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