Hibou Wine Cellars
Russian River Valley AVA
Chef-turned-winemaker Jason Driscoll is a rising star in Napa and Sonoma Counties, crafting terroir-driven wines from unique, organically farmed vineyards throughout Northern California.
Established in 2014 by husband and wife team Jason and Hilary Driscoll, Hibou ("ee-boo") Wines is a passion project offering reserve-level, single-vineyard bottlings from California's North Coast. The brand, which is named after the French word for "owl," allows Jason to spread his wings and craft the wines that get him truly excited; whether that's a Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, a Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Mendocino County Syrah. These small-lot, heartfelt wines are each an act of discovery, an expression of a unique region or vineyard, with a special story that is worth telling.
First-generation vintner Jason Driscoll never planned on becoming a winemaker, and in fact, always dreamed of being a chef. He attended Pepperdine University and then the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where he discovered his love of wine while finding the perfect wine and food pairings with his wife Hilary.
While pursuing his career as a Chef, Jason cooked in kitchens throughout Seattle and Napa Valley and, by-chance, found a home as a cellar hand in the caves of Hunnicutt Wines in Saint Helena, California. What was supposed to be a brief once-in-a-lifetime harvest opportunity between kitchens, turned into a passion and full-time job - and Jason never looked back.
After working at Hunnicutt for two years, Jason moved on to become the Assistant Winemaker at DeSante Wines where his knowledge of viticulture and enology really took off. David DeSante took Jason under his wing and taught him everything from pruning in the vineyards to building pumps in the cellar. The experience also exposed Jason to lesser-known vineyards, both old and new, that produced spectacular fruit, and it ultimately inspired the Driscolls to have a winery of their own.
Jason and Hilary started Driscoll Wine Company, which includes a pair of sister wineries - Tilth Wines and Hibou Wine. While Tilth features a line-up of more reasonably priced, handcrafted wines from sustainable vineyards, Hibou provides more of a reserve-level experience with single-vineyard offerings, featuring a handful of hidden gem sites including Riddle Vineyard in Sebastopol, Tina Marie in the Russian River Valley, and Alder Springs in Mendocino. As one would expect from a chef, all of the wines are produced to be food friendly and heighten any culinary experience.
And, as one would expect from a chef, all of the wines are made to be food friendly and heighten any culinary experience. Jason and Hilary revel in food and wine’s wondrous ability to bring people together and have always enjoyed the special connections that arise over a shared meal.
While Jason Driscoll takes care of the vineyard sourcing and winemaking, it is his wife Hilary who runs the business and sales side of the small family winery, and together, they are starting quite a legacy. Now settled in Saint Helena, California with their two young children, Jason and Hilary are proud of how far they have come and continue to march forward toward the culmination of their dream.
Over the years, Jason Driscoll has established himself as a rising star winemaker in Napa and Sonoma counties. With several 90+ ratings already to his name, Jason is a master of his craft when it comes to his Burgundian wines that beautifully express the unique terroir from which they are from. In addition to crafting the wines for Hibou and Tilth, Jason has landed some of the most competitive apprenticeships in the industry at wineries such as Chalk Hill and Elsom Cellars. He continues to immerse himself in the craft, collaborating with masterful winemakers, to keep learning and refining. He also does some consulting on the side.
At Hibou Winery, each bottling is intentionally small and immensely personal - their wines are exclusively available to mailing list members and only during seasonal releases. To say these wines are hard-to-acquire is a serious understatement, which makes a feature from Hibou Winery that much more exciting.
Like an owl in pursuit, Jason Driscoll is always on the hunt, searching for small, enticing vineyards that might one day become Hibou’s next special, limited-release bottling - and if we’re lucky, an allocation may make its way to us again in the future.
We are happy to share this label with our Platinum Wine Club and Pinot Noir Wine Club members and hope you enjoy this release. Cheers!
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
In 2014, I was working as a cellar hand and made a couple tons of Pinot Noir on the side to teach myself how to make wine from start to finish. After a year in barrel, Hibou was born. I had no business plan; I just wanted to continue to grow as a winemaker and work with exciting vineyards. Hibou was, and continues to be, my creative outlet.
Since then, I’ve managed to grow the program and convince some pretty amazing vineyards to sell me their fruit. Chardonnay has become particularly exciting to me. It’s a grape that allows the winemaker to have some artistic freedom.
In 2019, I was able to lock down a block of fruit that comes from one of the best vineyards in Carneros, Napa Valley - really one of the best vineyards in California. As with all of our wines, I wanted the fruit to speak for itself, so I intervened very minimally by adding no commercial yeast, and fermenting in large casks. The result, in my opinion, is a truly wonderful expression of Napa Valley Chardonnay through Hibou’s lenses.
I really hope you enjoy!