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Maggy Hawk, named after a race horse owned by proprietor Barbara Banke, is located roughly two and a half hours north of San Francisco in the Anderson Valley sub-AVA of Mendocino County. Although vines were first planted in this remote, pastoral region in the late 1800s, the Anderson Valley has only recently become recognized as one of the top wine regions for producing Pinot Noir.
Set on a hillside next to a forest of towering redwoods, the 57-acre Maggy Hawk estate is one of the closest vineyards to the ocean in the Anderson Valley. During the growing season, the climate is foggy in the morning and windy in the afternoon with large temperature swings from day to night. The decomposed sandstone soils, rarely found in California, offer few nutrients and exceptional drainage. Clones, rootstocks, trellising and row directions are all tailored specifically to each individual block. Thanks to the demanding conditions, the yields naturally average less than two tons per acre.
Maggy Hawk’s core Pinot Noirs are vinified from single blocks and single clones. They are named after the race horse’s progeny: Jolie, Afleet, Stormin’, and Unforgettable. In exceptional vintages, the winery also produces small quantities of its flagship Pinot Noir, Hawkster, named after Maggy Hawk’s sire. The wines are made by Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, an expert in cool-climate farming and winemaking.