Wine & Beer

Cal Poly grad named Paso Robles wine person of the year

Austin Hope, president and winemaker of Hope Family Wines, is the Paso Robles Wine County Alliance’s Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year.
Austin Hope, president and winemaker of Hope Family Wines, is the Paso Robles Wine County Alliance’s Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year.

He’s a Cal Poly graduate, a first-generation winemaker and third-generation California farmer.

Now Austin Hope has a new title: 2018 Paso Robles Wine Person of the Year.

Hope, president and winemaker of Hope Family Wines, will officially receive the award at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance’s annual gala, according to a news release. The gathering will be held Friday at the Park Ballroom in Paso Robles.

In the release, the alliance hailed Hope as “a steadfast advocate for the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area” who has “played an important role in introducing the wines of Paso Robles to a global audience.”

Hope was 8 when his family moved from Bakersfield to Paso Robles in 1978, becoming one of the area’s top grape growers.

Working with his father, Chuck Hope, Austin Hope led the family’s expansion into winemaking in 1995, according to the Hope Family Wines website. Hope created the Austin Hope label, featuring Rhone varietals, in 2000, the website said.

Hope Family Wines’ other brands include Liberty School, Treana, Troublemaker and Quest.

In addition to his work with wine, Hope has also dipped into the distillery industry — reviving Highspire Whiskey, one of the most popular rye whiskey brands of the pre-Prohibition era.

Hope has strong ties with the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, serving as a board member and president. He currently serves as secretary of the trade organization, whose membership represents more than 450 wineries, vineyards and other businesses.

In addition, Hope belongs to the board of directors for the Paso Robles CAB Collective, which promotes cabernet sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties produced in the region. (His Austin Hope 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon scored an impressive 97 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine.)

The Paso Robles Wine Person of the Year award honors a wine industry professional “who has exemplified the spirit of Paso Robles wine country with outstanding leadership and vision in promoting the region,” the release said.

Past recipients include Still Waters vintner Paul Hoover, Tablas Creek Vineyard general manager Jason Haas and Steve Lohr, CEO of J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines.

For more information, visit www.pasowine.com.

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Entertainment editor Sarah Linn writes about all things fun, including movies, television, the performing arts, the visual arts and the best places to eat and drink in San Luis Obispo County. A graduate of Oregon State University, she has worked for The Tribune for more than a decade and has earned multiple California journalism awards.


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