3355 Gravenstein Highway North
Known For: Single Vineyard Offerings from California's top vineyards.
Winemaker: Paul Hobbs
If we had to select one winemaker who best epitomizes how the wine industry has evolved over the past few decades, Paul Hobbs would be at the very top of that list.
First educated in encology at what probably should be referred to as winemakers university, the University of California-Davis, Paul Hobbs went on to make wine at Mondavi and Opus One then applying his trade domestically as consulting winemaker at standouts such as Vine Cliff and Chalone. During that time his interest in the international wine growing regions of Chile and Argentina started to take shape. He now not only consults with wineries in South America, but helps to bring those fine wines into the United States marketplace through Paul Hobbs Imports.
While the official site does a better job telling the story than we ever could, the results of years of experience at fine wineries as varied as Mondavi and Vine Cliff has lead Paul Hobbs to be listed among the preimmenent winemakers of our age. Still a consulting winemaker in high demand both domestically and internationally, Paul Hobbs Winery perhaps shows the best example of what is possible with wine in California.
Largely focused on vineyard designate wines, which the winery helped to bring into fashion, consumer acceptance and critical acclaim have followed from the start.
As the 2008 Russian River Pinot Noir shows (listed as Wine Spectator's #6 Wine of the Year in 2010) the winery is still making truly outstanding wines at prices which are well under market considering the value. Luckily for wine lovers, the winery does accept tasting by appointment.