About Hawk's Shadow
In 1989 Doug and his wife Carol purchased the ranch in the Texas Hill Country, north and west of Dripping Springs. It was rough and needed a lot of work but we always knew that it was a special place. Between 1989 and 2003 we worked hard clearing, building, and working the land. Doug and Carol designed and had a friend build their home on the ranch’s hilltop in 2003, overlooking what would become our first vineyard site.
In the mid-1990s Doug, Tom, and Chip planted a few grape vines in a garden area along the ranch’s creek bed. The grapes did not flourish in the rich creek soil. While we accepted defeat, we learned much from our first experiment in viticulture. As the years and many open wine bottles past, we found ourselves talking about vineyards again. In 2004 the three of us decided to give it another try on the hilltop in front of the house and we formed Hawk’s Shadow Vineyard LLC. We were now officially wine grape growers, full of passion, but inexperienced and uneducated. To our surprise the vines didn’t just survive, they flourished in the unforgiving, rocky limestone hilltop. This site grew into the 5-acre hill top vineyard block of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese we have today. In 2009 our slow growing but determined vines gave us our first harvest. This tiny first crop was glorious to us. We had managed to produce what looked like fine wine grapes from a barren rocky hilltop. These grapes were sold to a local winery which as it turned out would make some great wines for them and introduce us to Chris Brundrett, the first of many great friendships we would form on our odyssey, including Tim Drake who has provided great mentoring.
In 2010 we made our second committing move and started the winery. Hawk’s Shadow LLC was born. Sadly, that was also the year that we lost our beloved horse Hawk’s Shadow. Now that we were in the wine making business we needed a winery. We found a location with a great view and constructed the first garage size building of what would eventually become our winery facility. We also developed an additional vineyard site that the winery overlooks. We had a grand vision of one day taking advantage of the hill side which we could excavate for a cellar to store our barrel aging wine in. This vision of a gravity-flow winery with an underground cave like cellar would became reality in the fall of 2014, with an expanded facility including additional winery space, tasting room, and underground barrel cellar. This journey has not been without its ups and downs but through it all the support and encouragement from our family members has made it possible. Hawk’s Shadow is truly a family run operation.
Doug and Carol are horse people and have had horses, cows, donkeys, and domesticated feral cats since 1982. So it was fitting to name the estate for Hawk’s Shadow, a yearling they purchased in 1990. Hawk was an affectionate lap dog trapped in the body of a 16 hands tall quarter horse. He was full of personality, always curious, eager to explore, and loved to meet new visitors to the ranch. Greeting everyone with an affectionate nudge and sniff, he was a fixture as we developed the land and vineyard. Though he left us in 2010, his spirit lives on along the hills and creek beds of the estate he knew as his home. A photograph of Hawk peering through the glass of our front door is the art work featured on our wine labels.