The next phase of 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery's development in southeast Medford is nearing fruition.
2Hawk owners Ross and Jen Allen plan to bring crushing and winemaking operations, previously handled by Pallet Wine Co., in-house this fall. S & B James Construction Management Co. has begun excavation work for a 14,000-square-foot winery building off Campbell Road, south of the 2Hawk tasting room on North Phoenix Road.
The Allens, who still have almond and pistachio holdings outside Coalinga, Calif., acquired 2Hawk from founders Rick and Nisha Jackson two years ago and quickly set out to expand plantings and upgrade the tasting room.
"This will give us greater quality control and personal input where we can really fine-tune the style of wine," said Ross Allen, whose estate includes tempranillo, viognier, pinot noir, chardonnay, grenache, muscat, sauvignon blanc, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot plantings.
Allen and his wife weren't in the market for a vineyard or wine label when they were house shopping in the Rogue Valley. But the 5,457-square-foot house on the far side of the vineyard grabbed their attention.
"We looked at the big picture and the opportunity," Allen said. "We knew the Southern Oregon wine scene was up and coming. We saw some potential for expansion and improvement."
There are 23 acres planted with 11 varietals and room to expand to 30 acres on the estate, Allen said.
The first block was planted earlier this decade, and only every other row was planted in the second block, allowing for plenty of additional grape stocks.
"We have bought elsewhere in the past, but everything will be grown here," he said.
Kiley Evans, whose resume includes eight years at Abacela and stints at Agate Ridge and Ledger David, is the winemaker.
2Hawk produced just over 1,000 cases last year. The new winery will be capable of producing 10,000 cases, or about what can be grown on the property.
Allen grew up in California's Central Valley on a farm in west Fresno County, where crops ranged from sugar beets and garlic to cotton.
"My dad was a wine nut and had a small vineyard," said Allen, who still journeys to California every six weeks to his family's 400-acre almond grove and 1,100 acres of pistachio trees.
A family friend harvested his father's grapes, made wine in his garage and shared the resulting vintages with the Allens.
"I grew up with a ceramic cup of wine at the table," he said. "I didn't realize at the time the quality of the wine."
The winery will be powered by a first-in-the-valley solar array, cutting-edge de-stemming machinery, and will include a gravity-flow crush pad and fermentation room.
The initial 50-kilowatt solar panels will produce 100 percent of the energy needed in the winery, he said. As production expands, it will probably supply about 70 percent of the need.