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2Hawk Looks Back on 2020, Forward to 2021

by Chris Russell, Contributor

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, and now it finally has: 2020 is over, done, finished, kaput. And while the general sentiment—with good cause—is “good riddance,” we can’t help but look back at some of the events that made 2020 a year for the history books, even right here in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley. Don’t worry—we won’t dwell on 2020 for long. We are too excited to share what might be in store for 2Hawk in 2021.

Good riddance, 2020!Everyone, Essentially

Looking Back

The Not-So-Good

With snow flurries closing the tasting room nearly a year ago to the day, 2020 began much like any other year. It didn’t take long for it to become unusual, however. The first COVID-19 cases hit Oregon in late February. Less than a month later, Governor Brown initiated the state’s first lockdown, barring on-site consumption of food and beverages across the state. This lockdown saw 2Hawk’s tasting room endure a prolonged closure, from St. Patrick’s Day through mid-May. Many area businesses were left reeling, forced to rethink how to do business in a transformed world. During this period, 2Hawk offered contactless curbside pickup of wines and accompaniments from the tasting room menu.

As reopenings cautiously began, service changes ranging from limited seating to stringent social distancing requirements required 2Hawk to remain agile, alert, and ever vigilant to protect the safety of guests and staff alike.

The Almeda Fire—one of the most devastating disasters in the Rogue Valley’s history—carved a path of destruction through the Valley, ultimately destroying 2,800 structures and burning more than 3,200 acres.
As summer drew to a close and the harvest season began, the catastrophic 2020 wildfire season roared into action. The Almeda Fire—one of the most devastating disasters in the Rogue Valley’s history—carved a path of destruction through the Valley, ultimately destroying 2,800 structures and burning more than 3,200 acres. 2Hawk, on the edge of the danger zone, saw closures on September 8 and 9 for fire danger, followed by closures on September 14 and 15 due to the thick smoke blanketing the area. While 2Hawk escaped significant damage, many were not so fortunate. Simple Machine, a sister winery in Talent, was completely destroyed.

In November, with wildfire season behind us, COVID-19 once again took center stage, forcing the tasting room to close again from November 12 through January 14, while 2Hawk continued offering curbside pickup of wine and merchandise to patrons.

The Not-So-Bad

2Hawk is thankful to have suffered relatively few direct impacts from COVID-19, which tragically claimed 72 lives in Jackson County during 2020. Similarly, we’re grateful to have come through the 2020 wildfire season intact, with a bountiful harvest and minimal impact from the smoke.

It is in this spirit of gratitude and with a sense of responsibility to our Rogue Valley community that we launched our 9-1-1 c.2 wine, a special release from which all proceeds will be donated to support victims of the Almeda Fire.

2020 also saw the launch of a series of fun 2Hawk commercials created by Slant Media. Witty, visually stunning, and masterfully produced, this ongoing series of videos has helped capture the imaginations of many—or at least elicited a few good chuckles.

Finally, 2Hawk continued to garner critical praise throughout 2020, with numerous wins in prestigious competitions. The top medals and scores announced in 2020 include:

2016 Darow Series Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 92 pointsWine Enthusiast Magazine
2017 Darow Series Chardonnay
  • Double Gold – 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Double Gold – 2020 Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
  • 91 pointsWine Enthusiast Magazine
  • 90 points – JamesSuckling.com
  • Gold – 2020 Sunset International Wine Competition
2017 Grenache
  • Double Gold – 2019* Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
  • Platinum, Judges’ Selection Medal for Best Red from Oregon – 2020 TEXSOM International Wine Awards
  • 95 points, 4.5/5 stars – Sean Ludford’s BevX.com
2017 Grenache Rosé
  • Double Gold – 2019* Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
2018 Grenache Rosé
  • Double Gold – 2020 Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
  • Gold – 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Gold – Drink Pink! International Rosé Competition
2019 Grenache Rosé
  • 91 points and Editor’s ChoiceWine Enthusiast Magazine
  • 95 points, 4.5/5 stars – Sean Ludford’s BevX.com
  • 96 points, Double Gold – 2020 Harvest “Terroir” Challenge
2017 Darow Series Malbec
  • Double Gold – 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Gold – 2020 Oregon Wine Awards
  • Gold – 2020 Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
Plume Rouge v.2
  • Gold – 2020 Millennial Wine Competition
2019 Sauvignon Blanc
  • 90 pointsWine Enthusiast Magazine (second vintage to score 90+ points at WE)
  • 93 points, 4/5 stars – Sean Ludford’s BevX.com
  • Gold – 2020 Harvest “Terroir” Challenge
2016 Tempranillo
  • Double Gold – 2019* Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
2016 Darow Series Tempranillo
  • 90 pointsWine Enthusiast Magazine
  • 94 points, 4.5/5 stars – Sean Ludford’s BevX.com
  • Double Gold – 2020 Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
  • Gold – TEXSOM 2020 International Wine Awards
  • Gold – 2020 Oregon Wine Awards
2017 Viognier
  • Platinum – 2019* Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
2017 Darow Series Viognier
  • 90 pointsWine Enthusiast Magazine
2018 Viognier
  • 97 points, Double Gold, Best of Class, Best of Rogue Valley AVA – 2020 Harvest “Terroir” Challenge
  • Platinum – 2020 Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging
*2019 Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging awards announced in 2020.

Looking Forward

Possibilities

It is difficult to predict how 2021 will unfold, but we’re hopeful that the tasting room, along with other small businesses in the Rogue Valley, will be able to gradually return to normal as the COVID-19 threat fades.

We’re certainly excited about selling the last of our 9-1-1 c.2 wine so the proceeds can be donated to help rebuild our Rogue Valley community. We’re looking forward to some stellar releases this year, especially for our wine club members, who weren’t able to join us in the tasting room for 2020’s releases. We’re also eager to see how our wines shine in 2021 competitions, adding to our growing collection of Platinum and Gold medals as well as 90+ scores.

New Leadership

We’re delighted to announce the addition of a general manager to 2Hawk’s senior leadership. Co-Owners Ross and Jen Allen worked diligently to find the perfect candidate for this newly created position, and they’re thrilled to welcome Ken Bolick to their team. Hired at the tail end of 2020, Ken brings an impressive array of skills and wine industry experience to the position. Together, we look forward to taking 2Hawk to new heights.

I am excited to be a part of 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery and the Southern Oregon wine community. 2Hawk has the makings of a powerhouse, and I am thrilled to be working with Jen, Ross, and Kiley to bring 2Hawk wine to new markets and consumers.Ken Bolick, 2Hawk General Manager

Learn More

2020 proved a grueling year, and while 2021 will no doubt present unique challenges of its own, we’re committed to making 2021 a banner year for 2Hawk. In the meantime, our tasting room just reopened for service on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1 to 7 pm, and we can’t wait to see you here!

Want to keep up on the latest happenings at 2Hawk? Subscribe to our newsletter, and you’ll never be left in the dark. Do you have any questions about our wines, our vineyard, or the winemaking process? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Please comment below or reach out to us directly via our Contact page.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to know more about our Rogue Valley wines, here are a few ways:

  1. In case you missed it, last month’s blog post was all about comfort—comfort food, that is! Read more at 2Hawk Wine & Food Pairings: Winter Comfort Food Recipes.
  2. Visit the tasting room to sample our current wines.
  3. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest happenings.

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Tasting room open daily, 1–7 pm

Reservations required for parties of 7 or more | Call 541.779.9463 to reserve your spot

2335 North Phoenix Road | Medford, OR | 541.779.wine