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 Hometown Pinot Noir 2018
The “bang for your buck” of the Hitching Post Pinots, this vintage of Hometown offers up deeper, darker fruit and a complex mouthfeel that makes it ideal for food it’s youthfulness. Intense purple hues in the glass with aromas of raspberry and blackberry, black tea, this Pinot is what you open up while prepping dinner and need a wine to taste test your food with. Tartness on the palate and some shyness of flavor begins to mellow out as it opens up. Acidity really pops on the palate and gives a more demanding mouthfeel. This is a food wine where you get some fattier, richer elements to pair with the intensity. We recommend decanting this wine to get the full flavor out of it. This is a Central Coast appellation as the blend includes several Santa Barbara vineyards: Rio Vista, Kick On, and Bien Nacido, plus San Luis Obispo’s Quinta del Mar Vineyard and Shell Creek Valdiguie (10%). Hometown 2018 is a wonderful wine that represents an amazing value that you should stockpile now while it lasts!
The grapes were gently destemmed and the must was chilled to 50 degrees F. After a 3 day cold soak, there was a long slow fermentation. There were many early punch downs, and just a few late, to maximize extraction of flavor and color while minimizing bitterness. Once the new wines were dry the juice was pressed off and moved them to barrels with their lees. The separate lots were barrel aged in the 60 degree F, 85% humidity controlled cellar. In early 2019, the team started blending trials to find this specific blend that represents the smooth, lively, and fresh Pinot Noir characteristics. These separate lots were racked off their lees, assembled into this blend, and bottled in August 2019. Aged for 18 months in 100% neutral French Oak barrels