Cover of Wine and Vines Magazine (1978) with André Tchelistcheff and Stanley Hoffman, the first local winery owner to be featured.
HMR vineyards, view from Hoffman Valley Ranch looking north.
Michael Hoffman being mentored by André Tchelistcheff. Michael describes the experience, “What I enjoyed about winemaking most was working with André. He was a true mentor and was like a father to me. I really enjoyed spending time with him, he was an amazing human being.”
Michael Hoffman standing in the HMR winery.
David Hoffman (left) Michael Hoffman (right)
Label of the award-winning Chardonnay
Stanley and Terry Hoffman
Stanley and Terry Hoffman
Stanley Hoffman was a pioneer, the first to grow Pinot Noir in San Luis Obispo County. The vineyard he planted in 1964 is one of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in California. It is now owned by the Adelaida Vineyards. He is the first to plant French Burgundian and Bordeaux varieties after Prohibition. Stanley is also the first to plant Franken Riesling in San Luis Obispo County.
The Hoffman Mountain Ranch, HMR, the first modern commercial winery to be built in San Luis Obispo County after Prohibition, was designed and constructed from 1972 to 1975. The first newly designed stainless-steel fermenting tanks, cutting-edge equipment, and new French oak barrels were purchased with the assistance of world-famous wine consultant André Tchelistcheff.
Stanley was the first winemaker in San Luis Obispo County to hire wine consultant André Tchelistcheff; André trained winemakers, including Stanley’s son Michael Hoffman, to make world-class wines.
In 1979 Stanley Hoffman was the first in San Luis Obispo County to win an International Wine Competition. This focused world-wide attention on wines produced in Paso Robles and the county San Luis Obispo. HMR wines won gold and double-gold medals for HMR Chardonnay in the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.
Stanley was the first local winery owner featured by wine writers in national magazines. He became a legend for introducing modern wine technology to San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast.
Stanley Hoffman, considered the godfather of winemaking on the Central Coast, has inspired future generations of winemakers in San Luis Obispo County to make world-class wines.
Impact on the Wine History of San Luis Obispo County
- First grower to select the chalky soils of the Adelaida District for his vineyards in 1961.
- The first modern vineyardist to work with Jack Foott, San Luis Obispo County Agriculture Advisor, to determine the best varieties to plant in the region of the Adelaida District, located in the hills west of Paso Robles.
- Planted the first Pinot Noir vineyard on the Central Coast in 1964.
- First to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Franken Riesling in the Adelaida District.
- Planted the first French (Bordeaux and Burgundy) varieties in the Adelaida District since the repeal of Prohibition.
- Stanley Hoffman, known as the “Godfather of the Central Coast” brought modern winemaking to San Luis Obispo County, paving the way for future generations of growers and winemakers to make world-class wines.
- The first winery owner to hire André Tchelistcheff as a wine consultant.
- Established the first modern commercial winery in Paso Robles.
- HMR was the first winery to use “cutting-edge” equipment, including stainless steel fermenting tanks and French oak barrels.
- Stanley Hoffman and HMR were the first in San Luis Obispo County to win a wine award at the Golden Gate Society competition.
- First local winery owner to be featured on the cover of Wine and Vines Magazine (1978).
- Stanley Hoffman and HMR were the first to win a gold and double gold medals for HMR Chardonnay in London at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (1979).
- Stanley Hoffman put Paso Robles on the map as a producer of fine wines. HMR wine medals and awards brought the foreign press and visitors to the Central Coast.
- HMR Among the first twentieth-century winemakers to sell San Luis Obispo County wines in Asia and Europe.
- Established the Adelaida district as a grape-growing environment.
- HMR was the first winery to designate the source of grapes (the Sauret Vineyard) on a wine label in San Luis Obispo County on HMR’s award-winning Zinfandel (1976).
- First to host the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival at a winery; the first winery to raise funds to support the Festival.
- First to have a formal tasting room in a location where tourists in Paso Robles would have easy access to sampling HMR wines.
- First to provide private tours of the winery.
- First physician to establish a specialty medical practice (cardiology) in north San Luis Obispo County.
- Stanley Hoffman’s 58-year-old HMR vineyard, planted in Zinfandel, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Riesling is still producing grapes for fine wine at Adelaida Vineyards and Winery.
- The original redwood HMR winery has been restored by Georges and Daniel Daou, owners of Daou Vineyards and Winery, located on former Hidden Ranch property.
- Inspired future Pinot Noir growers and winemakers such as Marc Goldberg to grow grapes in the Burgundian style and to make Burgundian wines.
- Michael Hoffman, Stanley’s son, was the youngest winemaker in California in 1975.
Dr. Stanley Hoffman established the first modern large-scale winery in San Luis Obispo County in 1972 with the expertise of wine consultant André Tchelistcheff, the “godfather of modern California winemaking,” the most influential winemaker in California since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. André was known as “The Maestro” for his impressive winemaking. He pioneered the modern techniques that changed California winemaking when he moved to Napa to work for Georges de Latour owner, and founder of Beaulieu Vineyards, in 1938. André introduced winemaking techniques such as the cold fermentation of white and rosé wines, the control of malolactic fermentation in red wines, and the use of small oak barrels for aging, all of which profoundly changed the way California wines were made.
André Tchelistcheff trained many California winemakers and pioneered the study of viticulture and terroir in Napa Valley. His own wines produced at Beaulieu Vineyard became the benchmark standard for California winemakers. After André retired in 1973, he consulted with wineries and winemakers on the West Coast, including the Hoffman Mountain Ranch Winery in San Luis Obispo County. Stanley Hoffman hired André to work with HMR starting with the 1973 harvest. André was awarded the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer and Spirit Professional. He died of lung cancer in 1994.
Stanley Hoffman graduated from Northwestern University and trained in medicine at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He graduated medical school in 1944 and served as a Captain in the U. S. Army Medical Corp during 1944 and 1945. Terry, Stanley’s high school sweetheart served in the Navy WAVES during World War II. Stanley and Terry married in 1945 and moved to Washington D.C. Stanley practiced Internal Medicine for several years. He pursued additional medical training in Denver, Colorado, becoming a cardiologist with a full-time practice there.
When Stanley and Terry moved to Southern California in 1950, Stanley opened his own practice at the Los Angeles International Airport. It may be that the legendary Howard Hughes was one of his patients, but that secret is Stanley’s alone, so we will never know for certain. His medical practice expanded, and he decided to move to a new location in Inglewood.
The family also expanded. Their two sons David and Michael were born in 1950 and in 1953. Daughters Deanne, Jan and Karen were born shortly thereafter. The family home was located in Beverly Hills. Stanley and Terry soon purchased a ranch in Thousand Oaks to provide their children with horses to ride and a bucolic experience in the summers and on the weekends.
Stanley and Terry were busy raising their family and enjoying fine wines and gourmet food. Stanley particularly enjoyed Pinot Noir and began to study European wines. Stanley had fond memories of growing up on a farm in Terre Haute, Indiana, and working with his father in the fields. His father made wine at home during the Prohibition years with Stanley at his side. In fact, when he shared their winemaking experience at school, his father was quite upset about the disclosure. Stanley’s brother who lived in San Francisco was also interested in fine wines and assembled a fine collection.
It is not known when Stanley might first have dreamed planting his own vineyard or making his own wine. However, when Stanley’s friend Ernie Fenders located a beautiful ranch property in the hills west of Paso Robles, Stanley was extremely interested. With tax planning in mind, Stanley was able to trade his ranch in Thousand Oaks for the ranch along Adelaida Road in an area well-known for running cattle and growing grains during the previous 100 years. Stanley and Terry acquired the 1200 acres of rolling hills with two small houses and a grove of almond trees in 1961. They named the property Hoffman Mountain Ranch (HMR). The family came on the weekends and during school vacations. They stayed in one of the houses and explored the property. Stanley and Terry were excited about planting orchards and other crops on the grazing land where cattle had roamed.
Stanley sought the advice of Jack Foott, the Agricultural Advisor for San Luis Obispo County, on soils and climate to determine what crops he should plant on the ranch. Stanley and his family had the original almond orchards growing as a first crop, then added walnuts. Jack Foott, funded by the Agriculture Department at the University of California Extension, was extremely helpful and counseled Stanley on best practices for his production. Stanley sold his crops locally.
Jack also shared his research on grape growing with Stanley. Jack had spent time planting a number of grape varieties in experimental vineyards located in various regions of the county. He was able to prove that a number of new varieties could be grown successfully in the county, depending on the marine influence, the soils, the microclimate, and the elevation of the vineyard.
In 1964 Jack advised Stanley to plant ten acres of Pinot Noir grapes on his ranch. Stanley loved growing plants and decided to grow and sell grapes as a second business to his medical practice. It was the first time Pinot Noir had been planted in the county. A friend, who consulted with Mirassou Winery in the Santa Clara Valley, taught Stanley how to plant, prune and manage a vineyard. Stanley studied the soils best suited to each variety, then traveled to Napa to consult with André and other winemakers. Stanley hired a vineyard manager John Whitener to plant and manage his vineyard.
The actual impact of selecting Pinot Noir can be explained by reviewing the history of the grape in California; it was an interesting and unusual choice of grape variety. Pinot Noir had not been planted immediately after the repeal of Prohibition; Zinfandel was most often planted in the 1930s. The Pinot Noir grape was challenging to grow and hardly known by the American public. There were only 300 to 500 acres of Pinot Noir growing in California in 1940. The majority were planted in the vineyards of Martin Ray in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Martin Ray was a talented grower and winemaker, mentored by Paul Masson, whose table and sparkling wines were often called “The Pride of California”. The legendary Paul Masson who came to California from Burgundy in 1878, planted the Pinot Noir vineyard along with other Burgundian varieties in the late 1890s. Paul established his winery, Paul Mason Champagne Co. (BW144), in 1905; he sold his winery to Martin Ray for $50,000 in 1936.
This sale occurred at a crucial point in the wine history of California. Prohibition had been repealed in 1933; post-prohibition wineries were bonded starting in 1934. Most winemakers were making table wine as a commodity like grain or cheese, just another way to make a living. Martin Ray had a vastly different idea about the future; he was inspired by the great wines of Europe and was one of the few post-prohibition winemakers who thought that American wine was not just a commodity. Martin focused on specific varieties with the goal of producing high-quality wines in America. His approach to winemaking was in the Burgundian style.
Pinot Noir gradually gained recognition as European varieties and specific clones were studied by viticulturalists in California. Pinot Noir was not added as a competition category at the California State Fair until 1947. The Pinot Noir grape did not become popular in California until the late 1970s when research on the clones was well-established. By 1980 Pinot Noir was produced in 116 California wineries.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Stanley enjoyed the fine wines of California and Europe. He continued to study viticulture and wines of the world; Stanley and Terry planned trips to France to experience the wines and vineyards firsthand. As Pinot Noir gradually became his favorite wine, Stan studied the grape variety in depth. He discussed it with winemakers, traveled again to Europe and walked through French vineyards, and many labels of fine wines. The most important trip was to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Côte de Nuit region in France, an area famous for its Pinot Noir. The grape is grown in soils rich in calcium carbonate, similar to the soil at Hoffman Mountain Ranch.
The elevation of the vineyard where Stanley planted 10 acres of Pinot Noir on its own roots in 1964 was 1725 feet above sea level where cool sea breezes from the Pacific Ocean caressed the vines. Jack Foott also advised Stanley to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Franken Riesling–a total of two red and two white grape varieties–in his vineyard.
In 1967 just as Stanley’s first harvest ripened, the Wine Advisory Board, located in San Francisco, published one of the first guides in California for wine and food pairing. I mention this because it is interesting to remember the food culture and varietal names used in the late 1960s. There were nine white wines paired with fish, chicken, shellfish, and omelets; seven red wines were recommended with hearty dishes. Burgundy wines–Gamay, Red Pinot, and Pinot Noir–were listed along with Chianti, and three Clarets–Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Grignolino. This published guide confirmed that Burgundian wines were becoming more popular with the sophisticated wine drinker. It was the first publication by the California wine industry recommending high-quality wines to be paired with food. The California food revolution was just beginning with Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.
Stanley’s older son, David, was the instigator to make wines under the HMR Label. David visited his uncle Haskell in San Francisco and was impressed by his knowledge and wine cellar. Haskell Hoffman hosted “great growth wine dinners” in San Francisco. The theme was to focus on one great vintage (1927, 1929, or 1945) and taste all the great growths of Bordeaux. The dinner would begin with a vintage of both white and red Burgundy. Haskell served vintage Port and cognac to complete the evening. Winemaker Michael Hoffman remembers these wonderful experiences as educational. The most important benefit to him was the influence of these great wines in developing his palate. His favorite of the great Bordeaux was Château Pétrus.
David Hoffman suggested that the family establish a winery on the property and establish the HMR (Hoffman Mountain Ranch) label. It was that moment in time that would dramatically change the wine history of San Luis Obispo County. Stanley had been selling his grapes to MIrrasou Winery. The yield was low but the flavors intense. One of the consultants from Mirrasou mentored Stanley on the pruning and care of the vineyards. Terry Hoffman fondly remembers that Stanley loved to prune his vines.
Stanley decided to establish his winery on the ranch and build a modern facility with the most modern equipment and technology. André Tchelistcheff was hired as the wine consultant for the 1973 harvest. André had previously challenged Stanley to choose between being a weekend grape grower and becoming a committed vineyardist and winemaker. Stanley made his choice and hired André as his consultant. He closed his practice in Inglewood, and opened his cardiology practice in Paso Robles, the first specialized medical practice in the county.
The winery was designed by David Hoffman who worked with a local architect. The dynamic redwood structure was built by local contractor Creighton MacDonald. The construction of Hoffman Mountain Winery started in 1972. It was completed in 1975 and equipped with the finest equipment, stainless steel fermentation tanks, and French oak barrels. It is considered the first modern winery to be built in San Luis Obispo County since the Repeal of Prohibition.
In the 1979 Sunset Guide to California’s Wine Country, the description of the new redwood HMR winery is, “The winery building fits its dramatic setting. A broad roof swoops up to a peak above the open-walled fermenting room. Stainless steel fermenters and a see-through bottling room with a fine view of the grassy hills share the upper level. Parallel and downhill, the oak aging cellars hold upright tanks on the lofty side, and barrels on the downhill side, where the roof sweeps low toward the ground. The whole building is built of unpainted wood.”
David Hoffman was HMR’s first winemaker. He worked in a small experimental version of the winery which was built for the production of the 1972, 1973, and 1974 Vintages. Under André Tchelistcheff’s guidance, David produced Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Franken Riesling.
David took on the management of the vineyards when Michael Hoffman was appointed winemaker in 1975. Michael had studied Fruit Science at Cal Poly and taken classes in viticulture and enology at UC Davis. André Tchelistcheff was Michael’s mentor; André provided on the job training which was an extraordinary experience. Michael had developed an exceptionally fine palate and enjoyed the experience of crafting his own wines. Michael describes the experience, “What I enjoyed about winemaking most was working with André. He was a true mentor and was like a father to me. I really enjoyed spending time with him, he was an amazing human being.” Michael was the youngest winemaker in California in 1975.
Esther Mobley, journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, writes that the records kept by André Tchelistcheff have survived. “Color-deep, elegant with little orangey ‘pele d’ onion’ reaction” and “artistically built-in palate with beautiful equilibrium in alcohol, acidity, and glycerol. Long-lasting elegant aftertaste,” are quotations from his notes.
Stanley Hoffman’s Pinot Noir vineyard and the quality of his wine attracted widespread attention in the 1970s. Stanley was the first to plant Bordeaux and Burgundian varieties in the county. HMR’s wine production expanded to include Zinfandel. Zinfandel wines were produced with grapes sourced from legendary grower Richard Sauret of Paso Robles. André Tchelistcheff advised Richard to keep growing his dry-farmed grapes in the same old-world style and terroir; he convinced Stanley to designate the grapes on the HMR Zinfandel wine label sourced from Sauret Vineyards. This was one of the first times that a vineyard was designated on the label of a San Luis Obispo County wine.
HMR’s wines began to win prestigious awards including the Golden Gate Wine Society Award in 1977 and the Double Gold for the 1975 HMR Chardonnay at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London in 1979. HMR wines were the first in San Luis Obispo County to win both of these awards; they brought national and international attention to the skillful winemaking emerging in San Luis Obispo County.
HMR wines were first sold directly to the public at the tasting room in Paso Robles at Black Oak Corners. It was located right next to local motels and was an attractive place for tourists to taste the HMR wines.
Michael Hoffman remembers that David Breitstein, the founder/owner of The Duke of Bourbon of Canoga Park was the first to carry the HMR label in his unique wine shop. Michael drove the HMR van throughout Southern California, loaded with HMR wines, and stopped at a number of wine shops on the way to Los Angeles. David Breitstein bought a case of each of the HMR wines they were producing at the time: two Chenin Blancs and Franken Riesling. Michael describes his original pricing as $2.49 a bottle to the consumer; at the last minute when Stanley tasted the wines, he raised the price to $3.99 because he felt the wines were excellent. This price created an incredible problem with distribution because it was the highest-priced wine in the category. Compare the HMR price with Chalon selling their barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc for $3.99. Michael had further challenges on his trip as he noticed huge stacks of cases of Firestone’s first release of Cabernet Rosé in the range of $2.49 per bottle in each wine shop. Michael was lucky to sell just one case of HMR wines.
The wine developed a large following throughout California. As the demand for HMR wines grew, a local distributor was selected. HMR wines were also sold by Morganti in San Luis Obispo. In Southern California, a contract was signed with the Wine Warehouse in West Los Angeles. The Wine Warehouse was founded in 1973, as a California distributor of Fine Wine, Beer and Spirits by brothers Bob and Jim Myerson. HMR was among the first twentieth-century winemakers to sell San Luis Obispo County wines in Asia and Europe.
The rapid growth of the HMR Winery took place in an economic environment of rising interest rates and inflation. The payments on business loans increased rapidly and became a burden. Stanley raised additional capital by bringing investors into a partnership. Widely divergent opinions and insufficient cash flow forced Stanley and his family out of the winery. HMR was sold to Intra-Leisure Inc. of Redondo Beach, California in 1982. Chris Johnson was hired as the winemaker. The new owners continued to feature the HMR label for a few years with HMR representing the name Hidden Ranch Winery.
In 1989 HMR was sold to Japanese investors who changed the name to the San Luis Winery, Inc. The winery closed and the property was sold around five years later.
Today Adelaida Vineyards and Winery, a family-owned business, owns some of the land and vineyards planted by Stanley Hoffman. They purchased the property in 1994. The old vines are still producing.
The winery facility and other sections of the vineyard are owned by the Daou Brothers, owners of Daou Vineyards and Winery. They have restored the winery and installed modern technology and equipment. They continue to preserve the history and tell the HMR story.
David and Michael pursued new careers. David became a veterinarian and opened his practice in South Dakota. Michael, the youngest winemaker in California during his years at HMR winery, again made history in 1988 with the opening of the first brewpub, SLO Brewing Company, in San Luis Obispo County. It was later sold to Firestone Brewery. He currently lives in Colorado.
Although economic pressures and dissent among investors forced the Hoffman family to lose control of the winery in 1982, Stanley continued in medical practice as a cardiologist in Paso Robles, beloved by all who knew him. He was a great supporter of the local restaurants, particularly McPhee’s Grill in Templeton owned by Ian and June McPhee.
Terry Hoffman describes her husband as very cheerful and social. He loved his patients and medical practice; he also loved his friends. Gary Eberle, Ian McPhee, Marc Goldberg, Tony Gasbar, Richard Sauret, Herman Schwartz, and Wayne Rogers were great supporters of HMR and the Hoffman family. Stanley was very appreciative of their support for his winery, their many shared parties, dinner, and wine celebrations. Stanley and Terry were actively engaged in the Paso Robles community and supported local charities. Stanley died on May 17, 2017. Terry is living in Northern California.
Stanley Hoffman inspired winemakers in the Paso Robles area to grow the Burgundian and Bordeaux varieties and to produce world-class wines. Stanley is revered by local winemakers, including Marc Goldberg and Maggie D’ Ambrosia, owners of Windward Vineyards in Paso Robles. Marc and Maggie specialize in Estate grown Pinot Noir Burgundian style hand-crafted Pinot Noir. Stanley’s friendship was treasured by Marc and HMR wines are in his cellar, a remarkable tribute to the Hoffman legacy and legend.
The Wine History Project wishes to thank all those mentioned in this legend of Stanley Hoffman and HMR for their contributions and personal interviews. Together we have preserved one of the most important legends of the twentieth century.
There are many memories to share and the Wine History Project hopes you will share your memories with us too. We remember how Robert Balzer, the wine writer for the Los Angeles Times wrote about the fine HMR wines and brought them to the attention of wine writers and lovers nationwide.
Among the many fans of the wine were the Hoffman’s neighbors, baseball great Sandy Koufax, filmmaker King Vidor, and actress Colleen Moore. Larry Hagman, who starred in the television series, “Dallas,” loved to come to the Hoffman Ranch and just hang out. David Henry, the buyer for Trader Joes, would come for harvest, participate in the crush, and then order many cases of wine. David remained a fan of Michael Hoffman years later when he founded SLOBrew; David purchased many cases of private label beer for Trader Joes including Fat Weasel; and Jumping Cow Amber Ale.
1920: Stanley Hoffman is born on September 16 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
1937: Stanley and Terry graduate from Wiley High School in Terre Haute. Both Terry and Stan are inspired by their drama teacher Winfred Rey to attend Northwestern. They both apply and are accepted.
1937: Stanley and Terry entered Northwestern.
1939: Terry transfers to Bennington College in Vermont.
1941: Stanley graduates from Northwestern; applies to medical school.
1941: Terry graduates from Bennington College in Vermont.
1944: Stanley graduates from medical school at Indiana University of Medicine.
1944-1945: Stanley Hoffman served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Terry served in the WAVES in the U.S. Navy.
1945: Stanley Hoffman marries Terry on December 29, 1945. They live in Washington DC for the next two years. Stanley practices medicine.
1948: Stanley takes additional training in cardiology in Denver and establishes his practice there.
1950: Stanley and Terry move to Southern California; Stanley is a prominent cardiologist in the Los Angeles area from 1950 to 1972.
1950: David Hoffman is born.
1953: Michael Hoffman is born.
1950s: The Hoffmans purchased a 10-acre ranch located in Thousand Oaks, California for the children to enjoy riding horses and the bucolic experience on the weekends and during school vacations.
1961: Stanley and Terry Hoffman trade their 10-acre ranch in Thousand Oaks for a 1200-acre ranch property in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. The ranch is named Hoffman Mountain Ranch (HMR). The address was Adelaida Road, Star Route, Paso Robles 93446.
1962: Stanley meets with San Luis Obispo County Agriculture Advisor Jack Foott to discuss the land and possible crops to grow. An old almond orchard produces almonds as the first crop; Jack Foott advises planting a walnut orchard. HMR looks like a traditional 1950s California ranch with white rail fences and farm crops.
1962: Stanley begins to study grape growing, wine varietals, soils, and terroir. He travels to consult with winemakers in Monterey, Sonoma, and Napa counties.
1964: County Agriculture Consultant Jack Foott describes his own experimental vineyards and the varieties grown in various locations in San Luis Obispo County. Jack recommends that Stanley plant 10 acres of Pinot Noir.
1964: Stanley hires a vineyard manager, John Whitener. Terry Hoffman describes her husband as “a man who loved wine, loved to prune and loved grapes”.
1964: Stanley Hoffman and his sons, David and Michael, begin planting Pinot Noir on ten acres on Hoffman Mountain Ranch (HMR). lt has a cooler region II-III transitional mountain climate with a marine influence.
1964: Jack Foott also advises planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Franken Riesling.
1964: Stanley Hoffman begins planting additional acres of vineyards on 65 acres of the 1,200-acre ranch. The vineyards range in elevation from 1,100 to 1,800. They are located over the ridge top on steep hills. Stanley’s goal is to grow quality grapes for winemaking with yields of 2 to 3 tons per acre. At the time, grape growers are striving for yields twice that amount per acre, focusing on quantity rather than quality.
1969: Anton Massel founds Club Oenologique. Their mission is to hold an annual international competition to reward excellence in wine and spirit production.
1970: The first official competition of the International Wine and Spirit Competition (formerly known as the Club Oenologique) takes place in London. Founder, Anton Massel, invites producers around the world to participate.
1972: Stanley Hoffman, owner of HMR vineyards, begins producing wines before he has completed designing and building his winery, in consultation with André Tchelistcheff.
1972: David Hoffman worked with a local architect to design a state-of-the-art winery with the latest equipment and technology.
1973: Stanley and Terry Hoffman move to Paso Robles. Stanley establishes his medical practice in a small adobe on 13th Street. He is the first medical specialist to open an office in northern San Luis Obispo County according to his obituary.
1973: The Golden Gate Wine Society was founded in 1973. The mission of the society is to further the education of its members in the production and enjoyment of fine wines. The Society meets monthly in San Francisco and concentrates on California Wines. It is established to focus on the wines in Napa, Sonoma and the Central Coast. Wine professionals who have made fine wines and wine history share their knowledge with members. The organization holds field trips to select wineries in California, Oregon, and Washington State. They also make periodic visits to the Viticulture and Enology Departments at UC Davis. Each year the Society sponsors a competition awarding one winery the Winery of the Year Award.
1975: Stanley Hoffman equips and completes the winery.
1975 circa: Tasting Room established on Highway 46 one or two blocks west of the 101 in a red building that houses the tasting room and the sales. The address was 1245 24th Street in Paso Robles at Black Oak Corner. California Wine Country Sunset Travel Book describes the tasting room located near the Black Oak Restaurant in Paso Robles as one that looks like it was designed by a man who was too late to invent the caboose. The book also lists the wines to be sampled in the tasting room as Franken Riesling, Chenin Blanc. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.
1976: Stanley Hoffman declares his 1976 Pinot Noir his favorite wine.
1976: André Tchelistcheff advises Stanley Hoffman to designate the Sauret Vineyard on the label of his award-winning Zinfandel.
1977: Stanley Hoffman enters the Golden Gate Wine Society Competition with a Selection Tasting and receives the First Place Trophy. The HMR Vineyards were the first in the San Luis Obispo County to win the Golden Gate Wine Society Award. The Trophy was donated to the Pioneer Museum in Paso Robles by Stanley Hoffman.
1977: California Wine Country published by Sunset Magazine Travel Books announces that a wine revolution is coming in San Luis Obispo County. The county “now boasts 4,100 acres of vineyards and the old list of three wineries is beginning to grow.” The article covers the older wineries, Pesenti, Rotta, and York plus two more: The Firestone Vineyard with 300 acres of vines in the Santa Ynez Valley and Hoffman Mountain Ranch, located seven miles southwest of Paso Robles.
1978: On April 14, Club Oenologique was officially renamed as the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). The awards banquet was held at the Palace of Westminster in 1978. The mission of the organization is to award excellence in international wines and spirits worldwide by having global experts judging the awards. The two-stage judging takes place over a four-month period, consisting of blind tastings and detailed technical analysis. Entries are judged by panels. The awards are considered to be high honors in the industry. There is an entry fee and four bottles of each product must be supplied to the competition in London. Up to 100 points are awards and include gold outstanding, gold, silver outstanding, silver, bronze outstanding, bronze. There are no limitations on the number of each category which can be awarded. The competition culminates in November in London with the annual awards presentation and banquet.
1978: André Tchelistcheff and Stanley Hoffman are featured on the front cover of Wine and Vines in July issue.
1979: HMR production reached 15,000 to 20,000 cases.
1979: Additional plantings are planned on the slopes facing the winery.
1979: The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) celebrates its 10th Anniversary in London.
1979: Stanley Hoffman receives the Double Gold Award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London for HMR Chardonnay 1975. The 1977 Chardonnay wins the Gold Award. Stanley Hoffman and HMR are the first to win this award in San Luis Obispo County.
1979: Stanley Hoffman becomes a legend for introducing modern wine technology to San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast.
1980: Stanley Hoffman produces Estate Bottled Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Zinfandel continues to be produced with grapes sourced from Richard Sauret.
1982: HMR supports philanthropy by raising funds through winery tours and events for the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival. This is the first time a winery backs an annual music festival in San Luis Obispo County. “What had once walnut and almond orchards have been converted to vineyards by the Hoffman family at Hoffman Mountain Ranch winery west of Paso Robles, with 500 acres of the 1,000-acre ranch in grapes. The Winery started in 1972 with the winery building constructed in 1975. The winery produces 25,000 to 30,000 case a year with three red wines and four white wines. A new Pinot Noir Blanc is being made for the Mozart Festival activities held at the winery. Following a tour of the winery an Italian style lunch was served with a sampling of several of the HMR wines.”
1982: A day-long tour on September 29, 1982, called “Wine, the fruit of the wine which is made by human hands,” was sponsored by the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Wine Industry Promotion Committee. Eighty people from beginners to experienced wine tasters toured vineyards and wineries in and around the Paso Robles area. The wineries were (first stop) Rancho Tierra Rejada (Ranch of the Broken Ground) home of Continental Vintners; (second stop) Estrella River Winery with winemaker Tom Meyers; (third stop) Martin Brothers Winery; (fourth stop) Hoffman Mountain Ranch winery; (fifth stop) Mastantuono Winery with winemaker Pasquale Mastantuono; (6th stop) York Mountain winery; (8th stop) Pesenti winery.
1982: Stanley Hoffman, owner of Hoffman Vineyards producing wines under the HMR label, is forced out of operation by financial problems. He had borrowed heavily from the bank with variable interest rates that soared on his loans during this period. He had also taken in partners who did not share is goals in quality production. The partners forced Stanley to leave the partnership.
1982: HMR is sold to Intra-Leisure Inc. of Redondo Beach, California. Chris Johnson is hired as the winemaker.
1982: Stanley reopens to his medical practice in Paso Robles.
1989: The HMR brand is purchased by Japanese investors who change the operating name to San Luis Obispo Winery, Inc.
1994: Adelaida Vineyards and Winery buy the HMR Vineyard. Winemaker was John Munch.
1996: Stanley Hoffman retires from medical practice.
2004: Celebration of 40 Year Anniversary of planting vineyards at HMR and Stanley Hoffman as the first vintner to plant the Bordeaux and Burgundy varieties recommended by Jack Foott in the Adelaida region. “Hoffman is considered the godfather of the modern Central Coast wine industry, laying the groundwork for generations of winemakers.” according to Tim Fish, wine writer for the Wine Spectator. “Stan was is the quintessential man ahead of his time” according to Mat Garretson of Garretson Wine Company.
2012: The Daou brothers buy the land on which the winery built by Stanley Hoffman is located. They restore the original redwood winery which is now located at the Daou Vineyards and Winery.
2017: Stanley Hoffman dies in Paso Robles, California on May 17, 2017. The memorial celebration is hosted by Marc Goldberg and Maggie D’ Ambrosia at Windward Vineyards.
2020: Terry Hoffman relocates to Northern California.