The Hahn Winery Story
The spectacular beauty of California ‘s central coast is probably the best-known region in all of California for its unique lifestyle. Monterey County’s dramatic ocean scenery, historic communities, artistic culture, verdant pine forests, and bountiful agriculture have beckoned adventure-seekers, seafarers, artists, writers and vacationers for over 100 years. And the 99 miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline is something no other California county can boast.
With an inspiration to raise Monterey wines to the highest level, the wines of Hahn Winery are created with a philosophy that all great wines are special – akin to the region they were grown in. The Hahn wines celebrate everything that is Monterey – unique in thought, style and setting. Wines of Monterey Distinction.
Nestled in the heart of California’s Monterey Coast, Hahn Estates winery and vineyards reside on a spectacular hillside overlooking the lush Salinas Valley One of the most award winning wineries in the region, Hahn Estates has been familyowned for over 24 years From the rugged Santa Lucia Highlands to the deep sandy valley of the Arroyo Seco, Hahn Estates wines express the distinct style of Monterey Swiss businessman Nicolaus Hahn’s adventurous spirit brought him and his family to the picturesque splendor of Monterey in the mid1970s He purchased two spectacular ranches— The Smith Ranch and The Hook Ranch—and realized his vision of creating a worldclass vineyard and winery estate Smith & Hook released its first vintage in 1978 followed in 1991 by wines under the Hahn Estates label The German translation for ‘Hahn’ is ‘rooster’ and this symbol, which adorns the Hahn label, honors the family’s European heritage.
The Smith Ranch had been a horse ranch, while the neighboring Hook Ranch had raised cattle for generations. With their prime location in the Santa Lucia Highlands overlooking the Salinas Valley, these ranches-turned-vineyards presented ideal growing conditions for growing premium varietal fruit. Smith & Hook Winery released its first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon to high acclaim in 1980. In 1991, Nicky created the Hahn Winery brand to showcase supple, accessible, and attractively priced wines from the family’s Monterey County vineyards.
In German, “Hahn” means “Rooster” and for this reason a rooster embellishes the Hahn Winery label, honoring the Hahn family’s European heritage. And while Smith & Hook remains the first wine produced by the Hahn family, Hahn Winery is the primary wine brand produced by the Hahns.
Paul Clifton joined the Hahn Estates team in 2003, after finishing a postgraduate degree in Viticulture/Enology in New Zealand. In 1996, he left a career in firefighting to become a winemaker, a hobby of his until then. Paul built a solid foundation in the industry, starting out in the cellars of Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley, then moving to Byington Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains as assistant winemaker. As a native of the Monterey Bay, his passions lie in the beauty of the area, its potential for excellence in winegrowing, and the people he works with. His favorite wine varietal is Pinot Noir.
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