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The Decanter interview: Paul Hobbs

Described as ‘the Steve Jobs of wine’, this busy consultant winemaker has a hand in projects across four continents. Peter Richards MW catches up with him to discuss his career, influences and winemaking style...

Space. That’s where Paul Hobbs was initially destined. A child of the 1960s, he loved maths, chemistry and physics. ‘I passionately wanted to become an astronaut,’ he recounts. But the doctor put paid to any flying aspirations with an abrupt diagnosis of amblyopia, or lazy eye. ‘I was crushed, crestfallen. At 16, I had to figure out what to do. So I took another approach.’

Challenges, and overcoming them, are an intriguing part of his story. No one gets to the top tier of their profession – where Hobbs unquestionably is, being one of the world’s highest profile winemakers and consultants – without determination and resilience. Yet with Hobbs you get the sense that he relishes the struggle itself.

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