Proprietor of Napa Valley’s Hoopes Family Vineyard & Winery wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award

Lindsay Hoopes


Proprietor & Alpha Dog

Hoopes Family Vineyard & Winery

PO Box 3600, Yountville 94599


Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

Responsibilities with your company: Owner, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, CEO — all the hats!

How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?

Challenging the status quo to create a new Napa, where families, farmers and wineries of all sizes can flourish. Reconnecting luxury to the agricultural roots of Napa.

Years with company: 10

Length of time in current position: 10 years

Number of companywide employees: 15

Number who report to you: 15

Greatest professional accomplishment: Not related to wine, yet, but serving under now Vice-President Kamala Harris in the Cold Hit Division and solving and prosecuting old cases in San Francisco.

Greatest professional challenge: Navigating and motivating people through two consecutive wildfires, COVID, and a number of personal challenges affecting our business, including my father's health and mother's death. It was a dark three years and needing to stay hard for everyone around me, including my young children, was very hard when I had very little support and was suffering myself.

Best advice received: It wasn't advice. It was that successful people believe in me, so I knew that I needed to believe in myself.

Entrepreneurs are not regularly following a path well-traveled, so staying the course, thinking outside the box, and innovating in a crowded industry IS going to be uncommon and accordingly, oftentimes criticized by the masses.

There are a lot of roadblocks, but I just would return to people's confidence in me, and remember that I must be on to something if they believed in me. I'm not afraid to make mistakes; I expect to make them. I'm not sure if that was advice - but believe in yourself was. No one promised I would always be perfect, but they certainly believed I could find my way out of a mess.

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: There have been so many. The highs and the lows have all been incredibly important. I have learned even more form my mistakes than any success. In the last 12 months, it was COVID - that overnight, the world changed.

That event confirmed that we can never be sure what is around the corner, so we need to have many plans, and be creative in solving problems we can't even anticipate.

I think a lot of scenarios I imagined in business played out, but no one could have been prepared for the upsets -but also opportunities - a similar unicorn event could precipitate.

What’s the biggest change COVID-19, the restrictions and the economic impact has had on your work and personal life?

I am incredibly appreciative that it has kept me home more, due to restrictions on travel, so business partners have had to accept meetings virtually in lieu of in person - which in turn means less travel, which in turn means more time for my two kids under three!

In work, I think that it has accelerated a lot of the trends I anticipated manifesting in the industry and we were ahead of the curve, so we have seen success.

We were also more creative, flexible and innovative, so have stood above our competition - as well as in terms of being a leader - in our industry. I think in the wine industry in general, in many ways, COVID has leveled the playing field for wineries.

Small wineries, and large wineries, cannot hide behind huge travel and marketing budgets - we all have to find ways to connect with the consumer through the same medium. That has given small wineries a huge advantage in some ways, because we are ALL now restricted to using the internet to market our products.

With a smaller budget, that makes the creative more valuable than the big budgets, and that is the first time I have seen this kind of leveling of competition and door opening in this space.

And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from that experience?

Be flexible. Expect, and welcome, change. It can open doors. It's not always obvious, or easy to navigate, but nothing is static, so expect, and welcome, change.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

Open book management, and including all team members in the process of understanding the challenges, making decisions to remain open, and including them in the difficult decisions we've had to make from time to time. That allows ownership of our successes, and appreciation for how much owning a business requires compassion for employees when circumstances like this arise - or at least, why a compassionate business owner is a blessing and something to appreciate as an employee.

Next professional goal: Creating a spice company and creating a more robust culinary program, garden, etc. to live with or beyond our wine brand.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree - (summa cum laude) Spanish, business, minor Chinese (Georgetown University); JD - Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco; LLM - Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (Banking & Securities Regulation)

Hometown: San Francisco

Community/nonprofit activities: Executive committee - Save the Family Farms Napa Valley Vintners; CIIC Committee, Reimagining Auction Napa Valley Committee Oasis Animal Sanctuary - in the process of 501(c)(3) formation

Mentor/admired businessperson: Volker Eisele - my mentor in the wine business admired businessperson - all of my forum mates in YPO

What is your most disliked industry buzzword?

Natural wines!

Typical day at the office: Every day is completely different!

In a business sense, what is the greatest thing about being under 40; and then what is the worst?

I am not afraid to…

Best place to work outside of your office: Much of my office is outside, so, looking at the animal rescue sanctuary I built. Or, admittedly, in the bathtub - the only place I can get quiet at home!

Hobbies: Travel, with a big T, cooking, eating, planning beautiful events, languages, watching my children laugh, creating dreams and actually executing them, and helping people - usually with legal issues, because I can contribute, but in anyway that I can

What you wanted to be when you grew up: A spy.

No. 1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40:

I've already done it - created a place that people want to work, be a part of, visit, and that my children enjoy. Now I have to start thinking about the next ten!

First job: English tutor for students learning English as a second-language, and hostess/waitress/bartender

Social media you most use: Facebook

Favorite book: “Man's Search for Meaning” or anything by Elie Wiesel

Favorite movie: “Silence of the Lambs”

Favorite App: Pinterest

Favorite after-work drink: Wine, of course.

Last vacation: Brazil with 700,000 heures

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?

I just asked my dad and he said: “How nice, beautiful, and smart I am."

Aren't dad's the best!

Lindsay Hoopes


Proprietor & Alpha Dog

Hoopes Family Vineyard & Winery

PO Box 3600, Yountville 94599


Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

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