Smith & Hook
During the 1970s Nicolaus and Gaby Hahn purchased the Smith horse ranch and the Hook cattle ranch in the western benchlands of Salinas Valley. The Hahns dreamed of producing world class wine and immediately began planting their newly acquired land.
In 1979, they produced their first wine under the Smith & Hook label- a Cabernet Sauvignon. Despite the fact that the Santa Lucia Highlands has since been planted with many acres of Burgundian varietals, (mainly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Cab remains Smith & Hook’s only wine.
Although the climate of the Santa Lucia Highlands is relatively cool, the AVA also has an exceptionally long growing season. This allows Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen methodically and slowly develop varietal characteristics.
Winemaker Adam LaZarre has access to grapes grown on 3 hillside vineyards. The 2003 Smith & Hook Santa Lucia Highlands Cabernet Sauvignon “Grand Reserve” is a blend of 88% Cab, 5% Petite Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Malbec. This wine was aged in French oak barrels for 22 months. 9,400 cases were produced.