Look no further than 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery in Southern Oregon for sustainable wines and a 3 course wine pairing menu in their own restaurant.
Disclosure: The following is 2 of 3 posts written in exchange for a discounted ticket to the 2021 Wine Media Conference in Eugene, Oregon. All opinions are my own.
2Hawk Vineyard & Winery in Medford, Oregon has the distinction of not only having a restaurant on site but a sustainably built one as well.
Their focus not only on environmentally conscious practices AND hospitality makes this a unique visit in Southern Oregon.
Here is a tasting of a 3 course lunch + amuse bouche in their thoughtfully crafted tasting room.
A 3 Course Menu
Mushroom Duxelle - Shitake & crimini mushrooms, shallots, sage derby cheese, microgreens
2019 Sauvignon Blanc - 13.1% ABV, wild yeast, aged 6 months on the lies in 45% neutral oak, 55% stainless steel
Soil profile: Darrow silty loam
Winemaker Notes: Aromas of pink grapefruit, lemongrass, and wet stone. Flavors of ripe peach, gauva, and rich textural quality provides weight without heaviness.
Also recommended with "a tarragon-infused Caesar salad with brick grilled chicken thighs seasoned with lemon pepper and turmeric."
Pairing Notes - I don't usually think of mushrooms with sauvignon blanc, but this one had body and weight due to the partial aging in oak and maturation with the lies. For that reason, it went beautifully together.
The wine lifted the earthy mushrooms, herbed cheese, and really provided a lovely citrus, and slight tropical fruited accent to this crostini appetizer.
Vichyssoise - Chilled French potato soup with leeks, cream, and fried chives
2017 Darrow Series Vigonier - 13.9% ABV, wild yeast, 11 months on the lies in 50% new, 50% 1 year old French oak, and 6 months in 100% stainless steel
Soil profile: Darrow silty loam underneath colluvial sandy shale
Winemaker Notes: "2017 was a lesson in patience coming off record snowfall...Flower blossom perfume, clover honey, and toasted coconut aromatics are followed by preserved lemon meringue, vanilla bean, creme brulee, and apricot fruit flavors."
Also recommended pairing with "bronzed halibut on pureed parsnips and a Calabrian chili oil drizzle.
Pairing Notes - I also normally don't think of wine with soup because it is a lot to drink. In this case, the soup is a thick puree and chilled.
Temperature wise, it matches the chilled wine and also provides a nice refresher between spoonfuls of the vichysoisse. Accentuated the tropical notes, passionfruit pastry cream, and a little kiwi sting.
Pork Braciole - Baby spinach, sun dried tomatoes, roasted pine nuts, feta, polenta, sauteed vegetables
2017 Malbec - 81% Malbec, 19% Block 8 (co-fermented Merlot & Cab Franc); aged 13.3% ABV, wild yeast, 17 months in 13% new and 57% 2 year old French oak
Soil profile: Darrow silty loam transitioning to Carney clay loam underneath alluvial shade
Winemaker notes: First estate grown Malbec, wild jasmine on the nose, blueberry, blackberry, pencil shaving, cedar,a nd red licorice aromas. Palate of black cherry, dark blueberry, and grilled blood orange. Finish of coffee, caramel, wet pine needle, and black pepper.
Also recommended with duck breast in black truffle cream with tarragon, rosemary, and grilled pears.
Pairing Notes - First off the pork roulade was incredibly TENDER and moist. So soft and juicy that went so nicely with the juicy and fruit driven Malbec. I loved the herbs and pinenut mixture in the pork that brought out the blue fruit in the wine.
Manchego Cheese - Marcona almonds, dried black mission figs & apricots, grainy mustard, toasted baguette
2017 Darrow Series Tempranillo - 81% Tempranillo, 10% Malbec, 9% Syrah; 13.9% ABV, wild yeast, aged 30 months in 29% new, 57% 2 year old, 14% neutral French oak
Soil profile: Darrow silty loam underneath colluvial sandy shale
Winemaker notes: black fruit, raspberry jam, black pepper, fresh earth; palate of ripe black fruit, dried herbs, leather, ark chocolate, and roasted chestnuts.
Also recommended with lamb and chorizo paella with blistered Ros de Mallorca peppers.
Pairing Notes - I loved the manchego cheese and tempranillo together. It seemed make the wine extra jammy and supple. The dried fruit wasn't too sweet and didn't clash with the wine at all. The almonds, surprisingly, I thought tasted better on their own.
All wines are from the Rogue Valley AVA.
A Sustainable Tasting Room
Walking into the rustic tasting room, it seemed like it had been fashioned after a modern log cabin with floor to ceiling woodwork and a hodgepodge exposed beams.
When the winemaker mentioned that it had been made from reclaimed materials dating as far back as the 1800s, the tasting room became historical.
It had a sense of modernity in that it was built recently but a feeling antiquity that it had been around for a long time.
It reminded me of the Southern Oregon wine industry, growing grapes in the old world tradition of Southern Rhone style wines, but in a newer setting and tradition far away from France.
Flooring - Douglas Fir flooring remanufactured from timber recovered from the demolished Lithia Motors building in downtown Medford.
Ceiling - Eastern hemlock wood recovered from the bottom of the growing trays from a mushroom farm in Pennsylvania.
Wall River Rock - Rocks taken from their vineyards meticulously arranged and applied by local masons.
Grapevine trim and base - grapevine trimmings left after the first harvest were nailed to the base boards to create a rustic trim.
Hand-hewn interior posts - Hickory and white Oak posts from a 1860 barn constructed by General James Pierce in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. His family would later give rise to the former first lady, Barbara Bush.
Barrel Tables and chairs - Barrel lids on the tops, and 1 barrel was enough to create 6 bar stools.
Wine Bottle chandelier - made with reclaimed blanks and 32 wine bottles rescued from local dumpsters at the nearby Jacksonville Inn
Hickory Log Pendant Light - an aged 750 piece of hickory from the Rogue Pacific Lumber Company
Siding on Bar and Interior Cabinetry - recovered from horse corrals from the 1940s in Fort Klamath
Doors - purchased as "seconds" since the wood had imperfections
Exterior Porch Posts and Beams - Long Leaf Yellow pine recovered from a brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin built in 1867.
Exterior and Interior Trim and Beam Wraps - pinewood from a wood granary built in the 1930s and located in the Cowhead Valley of Northeastern California
Cupolas - a couple are from a grocery store in Ohio from the early 1900s, and one is from Pennsylvania circa the 1800s
Exterior Soffit - Douglas fir recovered from a mill in Klamath Falls, OR built in 1926
Name - The name is 2Hawk not 2Hawks - plural. It comes from the 2 red tailed hawks that reside on the property that display grace and mindfulness.
AVA - Part of the Rogue Valley AVA but lies in the Bear Creek sub-basin.
Soil - 2 layered bedrock with a volcanic layer known as the Roxy Formation and a softer layer of alluvial sandstone known as the Payne Cliffs Formation. These lay underneath shallow silt, clay, and loamy soils.
They also use a unique irrigation monitoring system that measures soil tension. The technology enables them to manage the soil of each block from a cell phone, according to the day's conditions.
Owners - Jen & Ross Allen are 3rd generation farmers from the Central Valley in California. While Ross used to grow almonds and pistachios, he brings his deep agricultural knowledge to grapes.
Winemaker - Kiley Evans is a graduate of UC Davis Department of Viticulture & Enology with over 15 years of winemaking and sommelier experience. Some of his favorite wine pairings include fresh steamed lobster with white burgundy, fois gras with Sauternes, roast suckling pig with temperanillo, and bone in strip steak with Malbec. (Yum!)
Unique - One of the only wineries in the Rogue Valley to have a full time vineyard manager on site to tend to those grapes full time!
Wines - Predominantly Viognier and Malbec with smaller amounts of Temperanillo, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. They are not growing Pinot Noir since the weather is too warm, and there is no elevation for the hot air to move around.
Sustainable Focus - low impact production of estate wines, solar array to power the winery, passive ventilation in barrel rooms for temperature and humidity control, and wild yeast strains
Though they are not certified organic, their practices probably go well beyond the designation they could pay for.
It is more important to their mission to speak to their consumers about their sustainability practices and better yet to experience it in their tasting room and through their well tended vines and wines.