Maggy Hawk Winery: A Jewel in Anderson Valley’s Wine Crown

Maggy Hawk Winery: A Jewel in Anderson Valley’s Wine Crown.

Dutch wine importer Pallas Wines recently invited us for a Californian wine tasting and masterclass, showcasing some of the latest additions to their wine portfolio. After an extensive search through California they selected four wineries and their wines, a mixture of wines from different appellations. We are sharing some of the highlights and backgrounds for the wineries that have been selected. In this article: Maggy Hawk from Anderson Valley.

Maggy Hawk Winery – Anderson Valley

Presented by Tim Gray (Sales Manager Europe at Maggy Hawk) the wines of Maggy Hawk are fine examples of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with Pinot Noir being the specialty of the house.

Maggy Hawk, named after Barbara Banke’s favorite thoroughbred racehorse, was launched in 2007, as part of Jackson Family Wines. Situated in the ‘Deep End’ of Anderson Valley, the northwest tip closest to the Pacific Ocean, the estate has become a recognized name for its Pinot Noir specialization. Each cuvee pays homage to Maggy Hawk’s descendants. The vineyard offers a complex of primarily north and northeast-facing aspects, and is surrounded by majestic Redwoods. The soil composition primarily consists of Bearwallow & Wolfey, interspersed with some clay.

As the winemaker Sarah Weuthrich eloquently puts it: “There is a wildness about Anderson Valley. It’s still very untouched, rural, with a small-town feel. The future of Anderson Valley is limitless in my mind.”

The valley, particularly Maggy Hawk, has over 40 clones of Pinot Noir, with around 15 commonly planted. The Dijon Clone 115 and 777 are gaining popularity due to their distinct characteristics. The Pommard Clone 5, known for its unique meaty/gamey edge, has also been a staple in California vineyards for many years.

Maggy Hawk Vineyards.

Anderson Valley

Located in Mendocino County, Anderson Valley is one of the twelve sub AVAs, established in 1983. Stretching 15 miles in length and a mile wide, the valley hosts 90 vineyards, 62 producers, and covers 1,000 hectares of vineyard plantations. The region mainly focuses on Pinot Noir (69% of plantations), followed by Chardonnay (21%). The remainder is dedicated to Alsace varieties. The valley stands out for its twenty different types of Alluvial soil and vineyards located at altitudes ranging from 240 to 400 meter.

The valley got its name from Walter Anderson, who settled with his family near what is currently known as Boonville in 1851. By 1911, Italian immigrants had arrived, bringing with them the first vineyards. Significant milestones include the introduction of Pinot Noir in the 1970s, the AVA Petition in 1982, and the inaugural AV Pinot Noir Festival in 1997.

Anderson Valley AVA

Wine Highlights

Skycrest Chardonnay 2018

  • Vineyard: Skycrest Vineyard
  • Grape: 100% Chardonnay
  • Ageing: 15 months in 20% new French oak, 43% neutral puncheons
  • Tasting Notes: Fresh Meyer lemon, quince, and pear fruit notes combined with sea spray and white lily. Flint minerality and bright focused acidity lend balance.

A gracious white that delivers excellent value for money. We award this Chardonnay with a 93-point DWA score.

Stormin’ Pinot Noir 2018

  • Vineyard: Maggy Hawk Estate
  • Grape: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Ageing: 15 months in French oak, 30% new
  • Tasting Notes: Intense fresh blackberry and Mission fig, enhanced with bergamot tea, thyme, and pennyroyal. Muscular tannins and great acidity.

Layers of beauty make up for a gracious Pinot Noir with a 94-point DWA score.

Unforgettable Pinot Noir 2018

  • Vineyard: Maggy Hawk Estate
  • Grape: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Ageing: 15 months in French oak, 45% new
  • Tasting Notes: Fresh black cherry and red plum balanced by dried lavender, bay leaf, anise, and potting soil notes. Structured and juicy with integrated tannin.

Fruit and herbs on bed of earth, all pulled together by a structured backbone. We award this stunning red with a 93-point DWA score.

The estate’s offerings, coupled with its rich history, make Maggy Hawk an unforgettable destination for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

Maggy Hawk Wines.


Pallas Wines has put some serious effort in researching California and its most prominent wine regions. The result of their search shows a wide array of great wines, suited for every day drinking or special occasions. Wines from iconic wineries and appellations, but also talented prospects. The mentioned wines by Maggy Hawk will be imported in the Netherlands by Pallas, and available partners in trade and hospitality. The exact composition of the portfolio will most likely change and evolve over time, and some of the wines are only available in very low quantities and sold on allocation basis.

Introduction to Maggy Hawk by Tim Gray.

We would like to thank Pallas Wines for sharing these wines with us, and Tim and Maggy Hawk for their time and the insights they shared. Picture credits: Maggy Hawk.