In 1980, Nicky and Gaby Hahn purchased former horse and cattle ranches in the highlands of Monterey County. The ranches, Smith and Hook, were home to grazing cattle for generations but had been recently transformed into premium vineyards. At the time of purchase, the land produced some of the first estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon in Monterey County.
Smith Vineyard, home to their namesake winery, and Hook Vineyard, just to the Southeast, are located above the Salinas Valley in California’s rugged Central Coast appellation. Among the family’s inaugural releases was a Cabernet Sauvignon produced from those two vineyards.
Today, both Smith and Hook estate vineyards remain family owned, farmed and operated. However, after years of wine growing experience in this region, it became clear that both vineyards were better suited to produce cool-climate varietals like Pinot Noir. While some may have found this discovery discouraging, the Hahn’s, who never shy away from a challenge, did as the climate demanded and began grafting over their estate vines to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Simultaneously, they also committed to sourcing fine Cabernet Sauvignon from warmer vineyards further South in the Central Coast.
With 35 years of leadership in Central Coast winemaking, the Hahn family has built and continues to cultivate, strong relationships with small family vineyard owners like themselves, who are recognized for growing prized Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is lush, rich and expressive Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon, hand crafted from California’s spirited Central Coast.