Rising from the ashes to ferment change

Sometimes sad stories do have happy endings. Take the unusual genesis of the Burning Hawk wine in Sonoma County.

In May 2008, a hawk landed on a powerline, it was electrocuted and then caught fire. After falling to its death, it started a grass fire on the edge of the Windsor Vineyards.

The tragedy turned to understanding as a local vintner, Nick Papadopoulos, Director of Resolution Wines, decided he wanted to put his wine making skills to good use. This summer, Burning Hawk Wines hit the market with two $30-a-bottle wines and an ambitious effort to prevent similar bird deaths.

As Nick says:
“…this innocent hawk’s story opened our eyes to the impact our energy system has on birds and wildlife. Because of the vineyard connection a clear vision emerged – to create the Burning Hawk philanthropic wine brand dedicated to saving other birds from the same peril. We were encouraged to make this vision take flight by dozens of birders, business executives, conservation organizations, vintners, friends and family…”

Now 10% of total sales of Burning Hawk wine will be contributed to organizations working to prevent raptors and other birds from being killed through electrocution or collision with power lines, windmills and other elements of the energy system.

To learn more about the dangerous collision of birds and powerlines, see the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC)