Hitching Post is run by Frank Ostini, whose family ran the original Hitching Post from 1952, and Gray Hartley, a former commercial fisherman. Back when they started in 1979, they had but one barrel produced in their garage. Later on they made the wines at the Au Bon Climat/Qupe winery, and now the wines are produced in Buellton just around the corner from the Hitching Post restaurant (yes, the one in 'Sideways'). At the heart of Hitching Post is a focus on Pinot Noir from vineyards in Santa Barbara County, specifically Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Rita Hills and Los Alomos. These are traditional wines, aged in French Oak, bottled unfiltered, redolent in vibrant fruit with an intense vein of spice and earthiness but always with balancing fresh acidity.
Hitching Post Generation Red 2018
Gen Red got it name from the extensive history of wine making in the Ostini family in Italy and the many family members in the Hartley family that are currently in the wine industry. “Red wine has been in our past, present, and future,” states Gray Hartley, founder, owner and cellar master of Hitching Post Wines. “It will continue to be in our future generations.”
Year after year, the wine grape varieties that go into Gen Red vary. The team look for wines that blend well together to present a medium-bodied, palate pleasing, table red that a variety of palates can gravitate towards. Drinkable in its youth and also having enough acid and tannin structure to pair with food.
Using Italian varietals from Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards in Los Alamos, they added a richer body and dark fruit profile with Merlot from Templeton, and some lively red fruit, low alcohol wine with Valdiguie from Santa Margarita. Barrel aged for 18 months in 100% neutral French oaks barrels, the flavours in the wine have a touch of barrel influence that adds soft, aromatic notes. A violet colored wine, the aromatics present fig, rose petals, dark chocolate. The fruit really jumps out on the palate bouncing between wild cherry, strawberry, and pomegranate. There are ever-present dried baking spice notes in the flavor that lingers on the end. A more rustic blend then previous vintages, this wine will excel with rich, roasted meats, and a charcuterie board.