Avalon wines are named after the legendary Isle of Avalon, a place steeped in history and tradition. As Avalon wines are made the winemaker melds ancient winemaking techniques with modern technology. He combines thoughtful vineyard selection and intuitive winemaking methods to create a selection of wines that are beautifully balanced and effortlessly enjoyable.
A random meeting led Spencer to a wine tasting at a wine shop on Union Street in San Francisco. Inspired, Spencer created a wine club with friends and like-minded Bordeaux and Burgundy wine aficionados. Spencer’s serious interest in wine continued to grow, and he started collecting wine. Then Spencer bought ten acres in the Napa Valley in the southern part of the Oakville Appellation. In 1983 Spencer planted the vineyard with new Cabernet Sauvignon vines, using the phylloxera-resistant St. George rootstock and a Bordeaux Wente clone. Spencer still produces from these vines today, as they survived the notorious phylloxera epidemic of the early 1990s!
The grapes from this Oakville vineyard were first sold to other top wineries in Napa. “The grapes were so good, I decided to make some of them into my own wine,” says Spencer Hoopes. Family dinners became creative brand-building sessions where his daughter Lindsay, now the new General Manager for the Hoopes Family Vineyards, learned the business ropes from her father.
In 1999, the Hoopes family launched its own label. And in 2006, Spencer purchased and revived the Liparita brand, one of the original wineries in Napa to designate AVA-specific wines. Today Spencer and Lindsay walk the vineyards and make plans for the future for this very successful soil. “With the combination of the soil, the rootstock, the clone, and the way we are farming, we get a really unique Cabernet. The fruit has really bright fruit flavors and produces a fantastic nose in the glass, and you get a bright fruit in the mouth,” says Spencer. The Hoopes Vineyard grapes are now farmed primarily for Hoopes Cabernet.