Hoopes Family Vineyard
Napa Valley AVA
With 32-year-old vines, you are assured of getting quality
Spencer Hoopes was first a collector of wines. In the early 1980’s, he decided to follow his passion and purchased a small 8-acre vineyard on the valley floor in Oakville. He began farming the property that was planted in Cabernet Sauvignon in 1983. Along came the great phylloxera epidemic of the mid-to-late 1980’s that devastated some 50,000 acres in Northern California including Napa Valley.
Somehow, Spencer Hoopes’ plantings were resistant to the dreaded parasite and his vineyards grew and flourished. He was able to sell his fruit to many of the top Napa Valley wineries and the resulting wines produced a high number of medals and accolades.
In 1998, Spencer Hoopes decided it was time to make some wines for himself and Hoopes Family Vineyard and Winery became a reality. In 1999, the first four hundred cases were released to great acceptance and bountiful reviews.
Fast forward to 2011, and Spencer Hoops was taken gravely ill. His daughter, Lindsay, now 34, was a prosecutor in San Francisco where she had worked for almost a decade.
“I had grown up on the farm with the grapes,” Lindsay Hoopes recently recalled. “And I had always intended to go back into the wine industry at some point. My father remained in a coma for some time and I was forced to come back and operate the family business.”
Spencer Hoopes eventually survived and is still alive today at the age of 69. He is still active in the winery. The Hoopes Family Vineyard that he started a decade and a half ago is also very much alive and prospering. Accolades and honors continue accruing.
Lindsay Hoopes is no longer a lawyer but now a full-time winery owner. “When I came aboard,” she explained, “I felt it was necessary to bring a new team with me. I wanted young people who were as excited as me and who were creative in their outlook. I feel this strategy has worked out incredibly well for Hoopes Family Vineyard and Winery. The results and our winery’s statue among Napa Valley wineries speak for itself.”
What Lindsay Hoopes hasn’t changed is her father’s philosophy on wines and winemaking. “My father always believed in an old world meets new world viewpoint. He felt that a number of Napa Valley wineries produced wines that, for one reason or another, obscured Napa’s great fruit profile qualities. He asserted that our vineyards be farmed in the old way – very little manipulation, an organic approach to the farming itself and a concentration on quality rather than quantity.”
To that end, Hoopes Family Vineyard and Winery’s actual vines are planted with 12-foot spacing and grow to well over six feet, an unusual occurrence in Napa Valley where land is incredibly valuable and plants are spaced much closer. This fact might well have contributed to the vines’ ability to withstand the phylloxera pests of years ago.
“Our vines are among the oldest remaining in Napa Valley,” she added. “When you are able to have fruit from 32-year-old vines, you are assured of getting quality grapes that are the basis for making great wines.”
The label for Hoopes Family Vineyard and Winery has also undergone a major change that reflects Lindsay Hoopes’ attitude toward her business. The striking label features “The Boss,” a beloved terrier name Dante that had jumped through hoops since the winery’s inception. An embossed image of the great canine now jumps through each label the winery produces. Two rescue dogs, Sophie and Maya, have replaced Dante and are reported to be as equally energetic as the terrier.
The team Lindsay Hoopes has assembled includes winemaker Anne Vawter, a Washington (State) native and UC Davis graduate in viticulture and enology. She assisted respected winemaker Heidi Barrett for four years at the prestigious Paradigm Winery in Napa Valley and also worked a Chilean harvest for Caliterra Winery.
The future looks entirely bright for both Lindsay Hoopes and for her family’s winery. She has stated flatly that she is not interested in getting bigger than the present 1,200 cases the winery produces. “We are a grower-producer,” she finalized. “We have no intention of producing any more wine than we are able to grow. Even though we buy some tiny lots from other sources, that fruit only amounts to a small percentage of our total production.”
If passion, energy and business acumen are factors for success, then Lindsay Hoopes is destined for additional greatness at Hoopes Family Vineyard and Winery.
Lindsay Hoopes, Owner
Dear Gold Medal Wine Club Members,
From my family to yours, I am honored to introduce you to a very special wine: the 2012 Hoopes Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a new wine, from an older vineyard, to represent the next generation vintners of the Hoopes Family.
Hoopes Family Vineyards is a boutique, family-run, winery situated in the Oakville area of Napa Valley. My father started the vineyard as a farm, and grew grapes for a number of other producers in the Oakville Appellation. For years, my father grew the highest quality grapes that made their way into some of the most famous and popular wines of the region. The transition to winemaking was simple. My father started making wine when other winemakers asked to use our name, Hoopes, to designate the quality of their wine. We have been producing our own wine ever since.
We are now in the second generation of Hoopes Family Vineyard. Both our mascot, Dante, who graces the label, and our founder, my father, have handed over the reins. I am truly honored to work alongside my father in my childhood backyard and continue to bring high quality wine to your table. Dedicated to the legacy of our family farm and practices, our new team consists of winemaker Anne Vawter, Heidi Barrett’s former muse, and Maya and Sophie, our new vineyard mascots.
Our passion rests is making limited quantity wines. This allows us to give each bottle extra care throughout the winemaking process. Whether it’s selecting the fruit, which is all done by hand, blending the various French oak barrels, or electing the appropriate time for ageing, we diligently engage in each process to reach the optimal balance and consistency for exceptional wines.
This is our first vintage of the Hoopes Napa Valley, but most certainly will not be our last. We continue to work with the vineyards planted by my father that served as a fruit source for wines for many decades. With this heritage, we bring the next generation twist. Working with fruit from four of our best vineyards, Hoopes Napa Valley is generous, but restrained, and the heart of the wine is the fruit.