It’s hard to believe but before last year Hitching Post Wines (made famous in the Oscar-winning 2004 feature motion picture, “Sideways,”) never had a tasting room. That all changed for the better last year when acclaimed winemakers Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini debuted a mid-century farmhouse, destination Tasting Room (with lunch service delivered from Hitching Post 2) adjacent to Chef Ostini’s Hitching Post 2 restaurant in Buellton.
Leading the Hitching Post Wines team are the creators and two long-time friends, Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini, who have been making wines in Santa Barbara County, California since 1979. Long before Hollywood discovered the winemaking landmark and its excellent wines, Gray Hartley, a former Alaskan salmon fisherman and Frank Ostini, chef and owner of the famed Hitching Post 2 Restaurant in Buellton, were brought together by their love of wine and winemaking. Over the years their backyard hobby has turned into a highly acclaimed winemaking enterprise.
A special quality of Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room is the back patio area and the expansive picnic grounds with incredible valley views. The “HP 2 You” Lunch comes over piping hot from the Hitching Post 2 restaurant. Enjoy specialties including Grilled Artichoke with Smoked Tomato Mayo and the Oak Grilled Cheeseburger. Appetizers (HP Steak Bites & more) are served daily after 2:30 p.m. until close.
Most of the Hitching Post Wines are available by the glass in the picnic area alfresco. The various Tasting Flights (Traditional and Reserve Tasting) are available inside the front HPW Tasting Room.
Gray & Frank pop the cork on a bottle of their signature Highliner for us.