From a young age Paul Hobbs had a passion for wine, which he had adopted from his father. He grew up on an orchard and was heavily involved in the caring and growing of the fruit. His father taught him many skills and provided the foundations of understanding terroir and its effects on plants and their fruits. Although his father desperately wanted him to pursue a career in wine, he was instead inspired by his great-grandfather, who had a career in medicine. And so, Paul went to the Notre Dame University and came out with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry. However, after this his father's persistent persuasion took him to California, where after three years he achieved a Master's degree in Viticulture and Enology. This academic background gave him solid expertise the science behind winemaking. This made him very desirable amongst other wine makers, and he went on to work with Robert Mondavi with whom he helped create Opus One, as well as working with Simi Winery.
However, Paul soon came to the point where he wanted to create his own wine, from the best vineyards in California. He began making wine for Larry Hyde and Richard Dinner, where in 1991 he produced his first vintages of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, with all his knowledge it was undeniably obvious that Paul should open his own vineyards and care for his own vines. He planted his first vineyards on his own family farm, as he had a deep knowledge of the terroir, and understanding the way in which the vines would grow was second nature to him. By 2003, Paul had his first vintage of his own wine, producing Chardonnay Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
Paul is hands on when to comes to working in the vineyards, and due to his scientific background and understanding of viticulture, he knows that the vineyard is where great wine truly begins. Paul and his farmers fully immerse themselves into the vineyards and embrace the soils, exposure and climate of each, working as sustainably as possible. They are fastidious with vine management and are extremely precise when it comes to pruning and other vineyard operations to provide optimum plant growth. This meticulous attention to detail shows Paul's knowledge and commitment to creating the perfect wine and his minimal intervention approach allows the vineyard to shine through the grapes.
As the grapes travel into the winery the same attitude of low intervention is continued. The grapes are harvested by hand, providing accuracy with which grapes are chosen. The grapes are also fermented with native yeasts that live in the vineyards and the winery, which provides a unique personality to the wine. Each wine is aged in finely grained oak which allows the slow ingress of oxygen. This means that the oak influence remains subtle, and key characteristics of the vineyards and fruit aren't overpowered by the flavours of wood.
Paul Hobbs has been highly recognized around the world for his influence and the wines themselves. He was named the 'Steve Jobs of Wine', by Forbes magazine, in 2013, for his influence on the industry. His wines have also been widely awarded, with most notably his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon winning 'Best in Show' at the Decanter 2012 international awards. Most importantly, Paul forged a pathway for low intervention wines and is a big advocate for it. His influence and presence in this way of making wine is truly inspirational to the wine community.