Lindsay Hoopes takes charge at Hoopes Family Vineyard
From District Attorney to winemaker and wine manager, Lindsay Hoopes has taken charge at one of Napa Valley’s cult Cabernet wineries. Lindsay spent eight years in the D.A.’s office in San Francisco, prosecuting some of San Francisco’s most notorius criminals. When her Dad Spencer decided to retire from his vineyards and winery operation, Lindsay stepped in and you might say stepped up winery operations. We met with Lindsay at her Oakville vineyards and Yountville home and tasted three very delicious wines.
Hoopes Vineyard started in 1982 when Spencer Hoopes planted a 10-acre vineyard in the Oakville AVA. Adjacent to the vineyard is the family home and a small cellar, but interestingly they are situated in the town of Yountville, on Yount Mill Road. Spencer labeled the vineyard as the White House Vineyard because the Hoopes family originally lived in the white house that is still on the property. The vineyard is St. George root stock and is now 34 years old. The soil is unique because it is composed of loam and soil from the nearby Napa River that floods every so often. In addition to the loam and soil, there is volcanic soil. The volcanic soil was deposited eons ago by Yountville Hill, which is just across the road from the vineyard land. The yields of the Cabernet are low, 3 to 5 tons per acre. That low yield, plus the soil and winemaking technique, results in a beautifully-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. Lindsay says many people in the area call it the Screaming Eagle cousin, at one third the cost. We tasted the 2013 Oakville Cabernet and it is indeed a complex and deep Cabernet, but restrained in style.
Lindsay works with a consulting winemaker and produces about 10,000 cases per year: a Rosé, a Chardonnay, and two Cabernet wines. Lindsay’s main job is getting the word out about the wines and working with her distributors. She spends about 300 days a year on the road. Her attorney skills help her juggle the myriad of legal wine issues confronting wine sales across the U.S. The Hoopes Family Vineyard wines are sold online or through other outlets. Use Wine-Searcher.com to locate Hoopes Family Vineyard wines near you. There is no tasting room for Hoopes; it is mostly word-of-mouth that sells the Hoopes Family Vineyard label. The dog on the label is reminiscent of their old family dog, Dante. He and their other dog Muffin are buried on the property.