David & Marieke Arizini, Proprietors
David's family has been involved in the wine industry his entire life which nurtured his life long dream--to produce a world class wine for all to enjoy.
After graduating college, he moved to California as a wine salesman where he met Marieke. Throughout their courtship, whether a casual gathering with loved ones, a dinner while traveling, or watching a sunset, they have always marveled at how a special bottle of wine dramatically enhances the experience.
In 2017, they discovered Swirling Hawk Vineyards, a vineyard they knew would produce wines of exceptional quality and complexity. Swirling Hawk is singularly focused on delivering Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that will embody the unique air, land and sea characteristics surrounding this extraordinary vineyard.
Frank Melicia, Winemaker
It all started when Frank met, Ali Parsons, and after a 2-week courtship they were married. Having joined a new family, Frank was quickly thrust into the wine business as Ali's family had just developed Parsonage Winery and planted their first vineyard blocks in 1998. While these vines were maturing, Frank started his first job in the wine business at Cloninger winery in the coveted Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. At Cloniger, Frank’s primary duties were to manage the Cellar and Tasting Room. After a year, it was time to move on, so Frank spent the next 2 years growing California Native plants for green roofs and habitat restoration. In 2003, the initial vineyard planting at Parsonage began to deliver fruit and Franks skills were desperately needed at the family winery. He turned his focus to Winemaking and Vineyard management at Parsonage. Now some 20 years later, Frank is the head winemaker at Parsonage and Silvestri vineyards, while also managing Rancho Carmelo Vineyards in Carmel Valley.
In 2022 Frank met David and Marieke Arizini proprietors of Swirling Hawk Vineyards. He was instantly impressed with their vineyards and shared their goal to produce the highest quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It was clear to all this was going to be a special partnership, so he joined the Swirling Hawk Family to produce the 2022 vintage and beyond.
Frank and Ali have 3 boys Rocco (19) Dario (16) and Xandro (12) and live and work in Carmel Valley.
Ricardo Maldonado, Vineyard Manager
Ricardo Maldonado is a vineyard manager with broad experience in the agriculture industry. Several years ago, the intricacies of managing a vineyard combined with his passion for wine, led him to focus on vineyard management. As the owner of Central Coast Vineyard Services, he helps vineyard owners realize their dreams by helping clients make the very best wines their land can produce.
Rick met David & Marieke in 2017 at Swirling Hawk Vineyards and was instantly intrigued by the challenges of their mountaintop vineyard. Recognizing their unyielding commitment to quality, he knew the grapes produced at Swirling Hawk would thrive under his stewardship. Their partnership was forged out their mutual desire to grow grapes that will produce world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Jesus Dorantes, the Vine Whisperer
Jesus has been an integral part of the property since its inception in 2005. When David and Marieke purchased the vineyard in 2017, he was excited to expand his role to become a key member of the Swirling Hawk team, pursuing the production of world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In addition to ensuring optimum health and well-being of the current vineyards, Jesus has been working hard on the vineyard’s expansion, establishing new vineyard blocks on the north-west side of the property. The ultimate vine whisperer, Jesus remains devoted to the health and maintenance of Swirling Hawk Vineyards.