From Left to Right: Nova Cadamatre, MW; Paul Hobbs; Ashley Palm. / Photo courtesy of Ashley Palm
Halved Glass Wine Bottles on White Background Front View.
Paul Hobbs, who has spent the past four decades hopscotching hemispheres to consult with winegrowers, owns and makes wine at his own label in Sebastopol, California, and in 2011, he set his eyes on the Finger Lakes.
“I grew up in Niagara County,” Hobbs says of his New York State upbringing. “I carried it with me, even to where I settled in Sebastopol, where you get fog and a much cooler climate than the rest of region. I loved the idea of returning to my roots, but also making wine grown in an ultracold climate.”
In 2014, Hobbs planted on Seneca Lake after a long search for the ideal plot.
“I wanted to plant it like the Romans did in the Mosel,” Hobbs explains. “Up and down the slope. In the Finger Lakes, it’s usually planted across the slope, and you lose airflow that way.”
And that’s how Hillick & Hobbs was born, it’s inaugural bottling a 2019 bone-dry estate Riesling.
Nova Cadamatre, MW, head of winemaking at Napa’s Robert Mondavi, was also drawn to the Finger Lakes for the frisson of creative energy sparked by working in such a different climate.