Soon after retirement, the founders of Hawks Feather, Bill and Jill Wallace, purchased a five acre estate in Sonoma, CA and planted a decent amount of Tuscan varietal olive trees. Soon after, in 2004, Wallace was diagnosed with papillary renal carcinoma, a rare form of kidney cancer. Following two surgeries, the Wallaces planted 400 more Italian varietal olive trees and started producing Hawk's Feather Oliveto. Through it all, Bill responded well to clinical trials due I'm sure in great part to his positive spirit and passion for life. He farmed the land and produced many years of award winning olive oil until he decided to retire from his retirement....and pass Hawks Feather on to another passionate soul. Needless to say, I was hesitant to continue the relationship as who could possibly follow in the Wallace's footsteps? After several emails, I agreed to meet with the new owners of Hawk's Feather...the Suttons....and much to my surprise found a love and passion for the property as if the Wallaces had transferred it with the title. We continued to work with Hawk's Feather in the 2012/13 Harvest and decided to take part of the olives and mill them with a blade press and the remaining with a stone press....same olives...different methods of pressing. It was a fun experiment that resulted in two amazing oils....each a little different but you can tell they came from the same roots.
Characteristics: Mild grassiness with a soft pepper finish.
Tasting Bar Position: 3
Method of Production: Blade Press McEvoy Ranch Petaluma
Total Production: 100 gallons
Harvest Date: November 24, 2012
Press Date: November 25, 2012
In our store in St. Helena we have a tasting bar where you can walk through a tasting of all of our oils. To try to bring that experience to you virtually, we are ranking the oils in order of their taste.
In evaluation of an extra virgin olive oil, you look for three positive characteristics:
A. Fruitiness - smell and taste - descriptors are mowed lawn, alfalfa, artichoke, etc.....
B. Bitterness - taste only - makes you grimace....as in a bitter lettuce.
C. Pungency - taste only - burn in your throat...described as "peppery". Attributed to higher levels of polyphenols which are antioxidants.
The order on the bar from the lightest to the "biggest" are as follows:
1. Hornberger EVOO - very buttery...no bitterness or pungency.
2. Hawks Feather Stone Press EVOO - light fruitiness with a slight pepper finish
3. Hawks Feather Blade EVOO - more fruitiness with a slight pepper finish
4. Riboli Vineyards EVOO - Buttery, mild bitter with a slight pepper finish.
5. Pedregal EVOO - Grassy aroma, mild bitter with a pepper finish.
6. Double H Ranch EVOO - Strong fruitiness...mowed lawn character....very little bitterness and pungency
7. Twin Sisters EVOO - strong mowed lawn, strong bitterness and a noticable pungent finish.
8. Epstein Family EVOO - The strongest oil.....big fruit...bitter....and a three cough oil!