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Paul Hobbs

Paul Hobbs grew up along the shores of Lake Ontario on an orchard farm, gaining an understanding of the land from an early age. He was introduced to how the soil could influence the character of fruit when his father had him taste the same variety of apple grown on different sites several miles apart; and so the seed was sown for Paul's later winemaking achievements. Paul took a degree in chemistry and later went off to California and gained his Master's in Viticulture and Oenology from UC Davis which, along with his chemistry expertise, gave him a solid foundation of the science involved in winemaking. In 1978 Paul went to work at Robert Mondavi, with whom he had had an apprenticeship the previous year studying oak extracts, and helped Mondavi create the legendary Opus One. Paul then went to work for Simi Winery, the Cabernet Sauvignon specialists, before taking off for Argentina to partner with Nicolas Catena at Bodega Catena Zapata. But Paul wanted to make his own wine under his own label, and in 1991 established Paul Hobbs Winery in Sebastopol in California's Sonoma County. His first vintage was in 2003. In the the same year the winery was completed, designed by Howard Backen, an architect who blends his designs with the landscape, and is credited with being a big influence on the architectural aesthetics of the Napa Valley. With his scientific background Paul understands the importance of viticulture, and that great wine begins in the vineyard, and shines through the quality of the grapes. Assiduous attention to detail is therefore carried out in the vineyard with exacting and precise vine management. Paul sources his fruit from seven estate-owned vineyards, and an additional six grower vineyards, covering six appellations: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley; Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain; Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast; Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon from Carneros; Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley and from Coombsville, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Paul Hobbs is dedicated to sustainability. The grapes are hand-picked and Paul takes a minimal approach in the cellar, fermenting with native yeasts. Fine grained French oak is used judicially for ageing, so that the wood's influence is subtle and does not overpower the finished wines, which are bottled unfined and unfiltered. Paul has an ongoing quest to refine the art of winemaking. He has been named the “most influential winemaker” in California, and given the title “Steve Jobs of the Wine World” by Forbes Magazine. His wines are multi-awarded and he has received the hallowed perfect 100 point score from Robert Parker on more than one occasion, and twice named “Wine Personality of the Year” by him. Paul is also the owner and winemaker of Crossbarn winery, which is also in Sebastopol, Hillick & Hobbs in the Finger Lakes, as well as having international partnerships in Argentina with Viña Cobos, France with Crocus, Armenia with Yacoubiani-Hobbs, and Alvaredos in Spain. Paul Hobbs crafts exceptional wines that truly reflect their terroir, and capture the essence of each appellation. They have unique personalities with remarkable balance and intensity.