CALIFORNIA
HAWAII
HILLICK & HOBBS
FINGER LAKES, USA

The pursuit to craft world-class riesling has brought Paul Hobbs back to New York to create site-specific estate wines from the emerging Finger Lakes region.

Named after his parents who first met while attending nearby Cornell University, Joan Hillick and Edward Hobbs, Paul founded the winery with the vision to create riesling that rivals its European brethren by pushing the boundaries of modern viticulture in the Finger Lakes. 

When growing up with his 10 siblings on the family farm in Niagara County, his father Edward would travel to the region and return with stories to share at the family table, sparking Paul’s interest and forming the building blocks for a lifelong vocation in wine. At the age of 16, his father instructed him to convert some of the farm’s orchards to vineyards after seeking advice from local growers. The family began selling grapes to nearby wineries in the Finger Lakes, and while attending college at Notre Dame, his father persuaded him to pursue wine. During his studies at UC Davis, Paul naturally developed an interest in riesling, particularly those from Germany, which he considers his first love. 

After solidifying an international winemaking career, he began to recognize that the Finger Lakes had all the desirable attributes – climate, slate soils and slopes– of the greatest riesling producing regions. Paul, along with his younger brother David Hobbs, began actively searching for a site, and after years combing the area, discovered a property south of Hector Falls that drew notable similarities to the Mosel. In 2013, the purchase of the property was finalized and the labor and capital-intensive process of developing a vineyard from scratch began that Labor Day weekend. It took nearly a decade before the inaugural vintage release to establish the 78-acre estate (25 planted). 

Dedicated entirely to riesling, the vines are planted to high density and grown on steep slopes in predominately hard slate soils, making machine work nearly impossible.


COUNTRY USA
REGION New York
APPELLATION(S) Finger Lakes
PROPRIETORS Paul Hobbs
FOUNDED 2013
WINEMAKER Paul Hobbs, Winemaker | Lynne Fahy, Associate Winemaker
ANNUAL PRODUCTION 4,500 Cases
FARMING
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
Certified Sustainable

Seneca Lake is the largest and deepest of the Finger Lakes, carved out of glacial movement during the Ice Age, which last receeded approximately 10,000 years ago. The lake provides moderating influences on the region’s climate, delaying budbreak and lowering the risk of late spring frosts, as well as prolonging the growing season in the fall. The HILLICK & HOBBS estate vineyard rests on the southeastern edge of Seneca Lake near the town of Burdett. 

The vineyard’s steep slopes require specialized equipment and erosion prevention measures such as no tilling and year-round cover crop

  • Vines are hand-pruned by the local team during dormancy
  • Hand-leafed along the horthern side of the canopy for enhanced sun exposure and airflow
  • Hand-harvested, with multiple passes taken through each block to ensure optimum ripeness
  • Vines are winterized by hand to prevent winter kill