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 Filed as : Featured WinemakersPeopleWinemakers

It's Not Just Hoopla

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  • Publish Date: Aug 31, 2009

Ever credit timing with a "fortuitous" change?

I think we can all admit that timing and a bit of luck can have a big impact on how things turn out, and so can Spencer Hoopes. Well, that and a great love of wine.

Upon moving to San Francisco to practice law after his tour of duty in the Army, Spencer joined a wine tasting group on Union Street. The gatherings quickly sparked a passion for the grape that saw no end.

By the 1980s, and countless Napa excursions later, Mr. Hoopes decided to purchase a 10 acre piece of land in Napa’s now coveted Oakville appellation. Soon this land was producing some of Napa’s most respected fruit, which was in turn being purchased by the valley’s most renowned wineries. “I thought, if others believe our grapes are some of the best quality grapes in the valley, why can’t I make some great wine myself?”

Now on his seventh successful vintage, Hoopes Cabernet Sauvignon is not Spencer’s only project. Having recently purchased and revived the century old Liparita winery, he hopes to make individual Cabernet Sauvignons that represent the specific appellations (“terroir”) in Napa from which they come. Spencer credits “a lack of fear and belief in pursuing passions” for having gotten him where he is today.

Check out Spencer’s wineries at and or read more of his thoughts on wine including which bottle of wine he would drink if only allowed one at

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