Because of its cool climate, the Santa Lucia Highlands is best known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but Hahn Estates is also producing high-quality Bordeaux varietals.
Nicolaus and Gaby Hahn moved to Monterey County during the 1970s and purchased Smith & Hook Winery in 1980. Over the next decade, they grew the brand and established their reputation for premium-quality wines that offered excellent value. In 1991, they formed Hahn Estates, “to showcase supple, accessible, and attractively priced wines from the family’s Monterey County vineyards.”
Hahn Estates produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and a Meritage blend. The label really turned the corner in 2000 when the production facilities underwent a multi-million dollar renovation.
Monterey County has an extremely diverse climate. This is due in part to the shear size of the area, but can also be attributed to the elevation changes. Hahn Estates takes advantage of these conditions and carefully plans which varietal should be planted where. Their vineyards are grown in the hills of Santa Lucia Highlands AVA as well as the nearby Arroyo Seco AVA.
The winery’s Santa Lucia Highlands property was once a horse ranch. Today, Hahn produces several different wines that embody the terroir of Monterey County. Their flagship wine is the Smith and Hook Cabernet Sauvignon, but several others are also noteworthy.