EPISODE 1: Frank Ostini
“When I was asked to invite fellow Santa Barbara County winemakers to enjoy two glasses of wine and candidly discuss our stories about the amazing wine growing region we call home for “Two Glasses In,” I immediately thought of one of my favorite local heroes, Frank Ostini. You can’t help but smile when Frank enters the room with his mustache smile, signature safari hat, deeply resonating voice and a perpetual twinkle in his eyes. You want to adopt him as your “cool” uncle.”
– Bion Rice, host and co-creator of “Two Glasses In”
ABOUT FRANK OSTINI
Frank Ostini started his path to culinary success as the bar manager and wine buyer of his family restaurant, Hitching Post in Casmalia in 1977. Steeped in the culture of Santa Maria-style barbecue, the family’s technique using local red oak for its unique flavor reached its peak of perfection in 1986 with the opening of Hitching Post 2 in Buellton, California.
At the time, the commercial wine industry was in its infancy, but Frank began dreaming of what it would be like to make wine of his own and sell it at the family restaurant. Without any formal training, Frank learned how to make wine alongside pioneer winemakers in Santa Barbara County, namely from his friend and hero Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat owner and winemaker). Winemaking ultimately became the underlying passion that kept Frank motivated and excited to stay in the restaurant business.
A true entrepreneur, Frank is now the owner of The Hitching Post 2, and is also co-owner and winemaker of Hitching Post Winery, along with partner Gray Hartley, which specializes in Santa Barbara County pinot noir. The winery produces about 15,000 cases a year. “When we started to make wine, I had one purpose, to get good wine on my family restaurant’s table – wine that I produced,” said Frank Ostini. “Doing the food and wine is all I ever wanted to do, and it’s still all I ever really want to do.”
Frank has received widespread international attention since his pinot noir was featured in the Academy Award® winning film Sideways. Join us for episode 1 of “Two Glasses In” as we discuss the “Sideways Effect” on merlot, what makes the Santa Barbara County wine region special, and the inner workings of his restaurant and winery.
WHAT WE’RE DRINKING
Follow along and drink what we’re drinking. Episode 1 of “Two Glasses In” features wines from Hitching Post Wines, including Hitching Post 2019 Pinks Rosé and Hitching Post 2016 Highliner Pinot Noir. Both of which can be purchased here.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Lunch service from The Hitching Post 2 is available from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.