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 (21 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. David Hobbs lives on the property and oversees the estate with a local team.