The History of Halcon Estate, a Love Story

When two good friends whose mutual love of Syrah compels them to acquire the finest Syrah vineyard in California.

Pax Mahle, Co-Founder & Winemaker

Pax and his wife Pam moved to wine country in 1997 to create a lifestyle that involved working with wine. After a few years of tasting and sourcing wine from all over California, Pax made a bold choice by favoring the “untapped potential”  of the Syrah grape. When Pax began making Syrah in 2000, it wasn’t because it was the varietal of the moment. “Syrah is just the grape I’ve always loved most. I’ve never cared about its popularity.”

Pax’s winemaking is approached holistically. This is done by taking care to use only grapes that are grown without the use of chemicals and by hand making wines with as little intervention as possible. As a result, all of wines are crushed by foot and hand, and fermented using only natural yeasts.

“There’s something in the air at Halcon Estate. It’s the finest Syrah vineyard in all of California, and it’s a privilege to make wine from this site. And to do it with a friend is a dream. Baron’s acumen for business and brand building make him the perfect partner to showcase this incredible site.”

Baron Ziegler, Co-Founder & CEO

A native of Minnesota, Baron was hired at the age of 18 by Food & Wine Magazine’s 2012 “Top Sommelier” Peter Eastlake, to work in his wine retail shop where he worked “under the radar” for three years. By the age of 21 Baron was managing three stores and purchasing wines by the container. Baron attended Boston University, but then deferred medical school to work for a James Beard award-winning wine importer, Eric Solomon.

Baron moved to California in 2007 and two years later co-founded Banshee Wines. After selling Banshee in 2017, Baron founded coveted Sonoma Coast-focused brand, Marine Layer Wines. He is the CEO of Valkyrie Selections, a trusted wine importer, and producer who seeks out unique, innovative opportunities with vigor and integrity.

“I’m not a winemaker. I’ve never had the patience or time to learn, but I’m lucky to have Pax Mahle at the helm of Halcon Estate. One of the best Syrah winemakers in the state of California, if not the world. And I am lucky to call him one of my best friends. We can’t wait to share the magic of Halcon Estate wines.”

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