In Dogged Pursuit of Perfect Wines

Located on prime Napa Valley real estate, where the Oakville AVA borders Yountville, the Hoopes Vineyard is a family business with a twist: it’s a father-daughter operation – in which (daughter) Lindsay Hoopes has full control of managing the business. Her father, Spencer Hoopes, came to farming and winegrowing by following his passion for collecting great wines. In 1983, he planted a ten-acre vineyard in the Oakville AVA and was soon supplying premium fruit to several esteemed wineries. 15 years later, he started his own label in order to make the aromatic wines with balance and structure that he loved most. A sweetspot for Cabernet Sauvignon, the Oakville AVA features well-drained sandy and gravelly soils as well as a slightly warmer climate that allows this late-ripening variety to develop rich and complex flavors. Think “Napa Cab” and you are probably thinking “Oakville” - as it is home to many of the Valley’s most iconic wines. Hence, it’s not surprising that Hoopes Vineyard focuses on Cabernet. But, as a small enterprise comprising estate vineyards as well as a winery, Hoopes Vineyard represents the pure relationship between grape grower and winemaker in a way that few do in the Napa Valley anymore. Under the flagship Hoopes label, the winery produces Cabernet from its estate vineyard in Oakville as well as from select vineyards in other parts of the Valley. 

These wines, produced through meticulous farming and a minimalist approach to winemaking, are deep and complex and will reward years of cellaring. This label also includes Sauvignon Blanc from Coombsville as well as Chardonnay from Carneros. The winery also launched Hoopla, originally as a way to utilize the barrels that didn’t make it into the top blends but now as a label that emphasizes the fun and joie de vivre of a life in - or with - wine. The dog on the label is Dante, Spencer’s faithful and energetic terrier (now deceased), whose boundless energy might symbolize how we should approach wine in our lives - with a sense of play and fun rather than formality and seriousness.

Wine Maker

Aaron Pott





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Wines from this Winery

HOOPLA Chardonnay Yountville Napa Valley

Chasing her dogs one morning, Lindsay stumbled across a lovely Chardonnay vineyard across the borderline in Yountville. A short conversation and a handshake with the owner was all it took to procure a new source of excellent Chardonnay fruit. Fermented entirely in stainless steel, the wine offers vibrant notes of fresh pineapple and pear and a mouthfeel that’s round and creamy. A generous Chardonnay that’s bright and pure and without oaky notes of butter and vanilla, Hoopla Yountville Chardonnay is a lovely wine with an affordable price. Pairing suggestions include roast chicken with mashed potatoes, fish tacos, Chinese chicken salad or Brie cheese. 

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¥3,850 (incl. tax)
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HOOPLA Rose Wine Napa Valley

A bottle of Hoopla Rosé solves that summertime dilemma when it’s too hot for red wine but a white would match neither the food nor the mood. With a darker color than the rosés of Southern France or Spain, Hoopla Rosé is blended from a spectrum of black grapes: 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 6% Zinfandel, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petite Sirah, 2% Syrah. The dark color derives from the winemaking process of bleeding red wine tanks (aka “saignée) soon after the start of maceration in order to add concentration to those wines. The bled off pink juice is then fermented separately in stainless steel tanks and becomes a lovely rosé that can be served well-chilled with a range of fish or lightly grilled meats. 

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¥3,850 (incl. tax)
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HOOPLA Cabernet Sauvignon California

The airborne pup on the label is Dante, the Hoopes’s vineyard dog known as the “original boss.” But don’t let the playfulness of the label influence your perception of the wine. A blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 4% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, this is a Bordeaux blend that expresses a California spirit. The wine seduces with layers of dark fruit flavors but remains balanced with acidity and well-integrated oak. According to the winery, “It is a luscious, juicy, fruit-centric wine, with a whimsical and punchy mouthfeel, layered with flavors of baking spices and clove. A pleasure to drink easily, anytime, with food or without!” Food-friendly and affordable, it’s a Cab that needs no special occasion to open and enjoy with friends or family.  

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¥4,950 (incl. tax)

What they lack in pedigree, mutts often make up for in personality, character and entertainment value. And that’s how the folks at Hoopla see this wine. Though blended from the “seconds” that didn’t fit into the winery’s premium wines, The Mutt has the aromas, body and length one expects from a Napa Valley wine - but without the high-premium price. Featuring more Merlot than Cabernet, this is a fun and fruit-driven wine that offers intense aromas and a juicy palate of ripe cherries and plums. The wine will pair well with anything grilled at a summertime barbecue. But if juicy steaks or hefty pork chops are your thing, you won’t be disappointed. 

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¥5,280 (incl. tax)
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HOOPES Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Hoopes Napa Valley is a blend of 85% Cabernet and 15% Merlot sourced from the family’s estate in Oakville as well as other Napa Valley vineyards. Given that wines produced by Hoopes’s famous neighbors sell for hundreds of dollars, this Cabernet offers a mighty value. 2017 was a year that saw ample winter rains, moderate summer temperatures, and an easy harvest that was complete before destructive fires tore across the hills to the east. Lindsey Hoopes says, “The 2017 Napa Cab has this incredible juicy acidity that complements the fine-grained tannins through the finish. Aromas of Black Licorice, Spearmint, and Eucalyptus welcome you to the glass. As the wine continues to open, you will gather expressions of plum, juicy blueberries, and freshly brewed coffee.” While this wine has been made to be enjoyed on release, it has acidity and tannin structure to improve with age. Pair with cuts of beef or pork – braised, stewed or grilled. 

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¥10,450 (incl. tax)
HOOPES Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Napa Valley

The Hoopes estate vineyards stand are neighbors to such Napa Valley icons as Opus 1, Robert Mondavi, and Harlan Estate. Indeed, before the family started their label, their grapes were eagerly sought after by the famous estates. In addition to having a microclimate that’s not exactly cool or warm, the estate is blessed a variety of soils, including volcanic, which is rare on the floor of the Napa Valley. The winemaker, Anne Vawter, who had worked under Heidi Peterson Barrett for four years at the Paradigm Winery, sees Oakville as Napa’s most exciting sub-appellation, her “solar plexus.” James Suckling noted the “hand-crafted” approach and said the wine “shows the brightness and energy of the 2014 vintage with blackberry, hints of rose petal and black tea character [and] full body, polished tannins and a focused finish.”

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¥13,200 (incl. tax)
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