Paul Hobbs: Chardonnay Wine Quality In The Glass
Part of a Chardonnay blog series
What's Their Story:
In a Forbes Magazine piece, Katie Kelly Bell nailed Paul Hobbs's essence by describing him as the Steve Jobs of Wine. Passionate and driven with the same fanaticism for quality, it is easy to see why the parallel is so apt. Paul Hobbs's roots began in a family orchard farm in upper-state New York, where he learned the ins and outs of farming from the ground up. Persuaded by his father, he entered the enology program at UC Davis and graduated with a Master's in Viticulture and Enology. He started his wine career working with Robert Mondavi in the formation of the famed Opus One. After serving as winemaker and consulting for several esteemed wineries such as Simi Winery, Peter Michaels, and Lewis Cellars, Mr. Hobbs founded his namesake winery in 1991. He was also instrumental in putting Argentina's Malbec wine on the map.
Many, many accolades have been published regarding Paul Hobbs winery and wine. Twice, he was named Personality of the Year by Robert Parker (a very big deal); Hobbs has received more than ten 100-point scores across his portfolio. Today, Paul Hobbs is the owner and winemaker for Paul Hobbs Winery and Crossbarn in California; Hilick & Hobbs in the Finger Lakes, New York, as well as partnerships with Viña Cobos (Mendoza, Argentina), Crocus (Cahors, France), Yacoubian-Hobbs (Armenia) and Alvaredos-Hobbs (Galicia, Spain).
Why The Winery Made The Grade:
It would be a grave omission not to include Paul Hobbs Winery in a blog series about California Chardonnay wineries and wine. He and several other winemakers helped establish a new version of California Chardonnay, a more modern interpretation. Quieter and more elegant than the earlier versions of Chardonnay, these Chardonnays are restrained with fruit flavors juicier than overripe, and oak use is much more judicious.
Chardonnay has been called a winemaker's most favorite wine to make. It's easy to grow and provides a blank canvas, allowing winemakers to flex their muscles and leave their imprint on the wine. As I've noted several times throughout these blogs about Chardonnay, the wine is a big tent with many different flavor profiles.
Paul Hobbs' wines offer a take on the shift in Chardonnay from big, buttery, oaky wine to more fruit-driven, less oak versions.
Paul Hobbs Winery tasting salon is elegant and modern and shows meticulous attention to detail. The wine concierges curating the tasting are gracious, hospitable, and extremely knowledgeable about wine, Paul Hobbs wines, and the area in general.
Which Winery Visitor Type Would Love It :
Authenticity Seekers, Oenophiles, and Luxury Seekers would enjoy the winery's tasting offerings. More formal than some of the other winery's fare, Casual Wine Drinkers may enjoy visiting wineries with a more relaxed approach. You'll walk away with more wine knowledge.
Address: 3355 Gravenstein Hwy. N Sebastopol, California 95472
Phone: (707) 824-9879
Appointments are required.
Tours/Tastings Offered: Paul Hobbs Winery offers two different tastings: the Signature Tasting, featuring four wines paired with food for $95.00 per person, and the Vineyard Designate Experience, featuring six wines for $250.00 per person.
Read the next blog in the series: Ramey Wine Cellars
Or read all of the blogs in our new guide, Chardonnay Wineries of Sonoma and Napa