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|Owner(s)||Gray Hartley, Frank Ostini|
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Hitching Post Hartley-Ostini Frank Ostini a chef, and Gray Hartley, a fisherman, make handcrafted Pinot Noirs from vineyards in Santa Maria Valley and Santa Rita Hills. The Sideways movie really put this label in the limelight but these two nice guys deserve all the notoriety they receive and the quality of their Pinot Noirs justify the publicity.
4,700 cases are produced annually at Terravant Wine Company in Buellton. The wines enjoy good retail distribution and may also be purchased at Terravant and the Hitching Post II Restaurant in Buellton.
2011 Hartley Ostini Hitching Post Highliner Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $34. A highliner is the best fisher in the fleet. This wine honors the men of SE Alaska salmon fishery alongside whom Gray Hartley fished for 28 years. A barrel selection from two Santa Barbara vineyards. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas of blackberry, black raspberry and spice fill the glass. Modestly weighted flavors of spicy black cherry and blackberry, with a hint of toast and anise in the background. The wine has soft, ripe tannins, good brightness, and commendable harmony. Score: 89. Reviewed November 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2009 Hitching Post Cork Dancer Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., $18, screw cap. The duo of Hartley and Ostini have been making wine since 1979. The Hitching Post tasting room is at the Hitching Post II Restaurant in Solvang. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very nice perfume of pie cherries, spice and oak. More complex than you would expect at this price level with flavors of dark red berries and cherries, rose hips tea and cola, with a hint of citrus peel on the uplifting finish. Well-managed oak and tannins with an easy drinking personality. Would work beautifully with a Hitching Post oak-grilled steak. Very good. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »
2005 Hitching Post Cargasacchi Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
220 cases, $42. · A little barnyard livens up the aromatics leading to plenty of candied Pinot fruits, especially frambiose. Elegant in style and rather simple in focus, it is perfectly fine. Reviewed July 23, 2007 ARTICLE »
2005 Hitching Post Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
325 cases, $50. 4 clones, 2 different rootstocks, picked in separate passes through the vineyard. · This wine is meaty and thick with lavish and rich, mature dark fruits. There is plenty of earthiness and mushroom flavors. A fruit bomb with judicious use of oak. Reviewed July 23, 2007 ARTICLE »