After an illustrious career in professional football, Terry Hoage and his wife, Jennifer, purchased a 26-acre vineyard on the west side of Paso Robles. In 2002, they made their first wine under the tutelage of Justin Smith from SAXUM Vineyards, and the adventure that is TH Estate Wines officially began.
Terry and Jennifer have been involved in almost every aspect of the winery from day one. Terry designed and helped assemble the press and shaker tables, engineered and installed the irrigation system, and planted the vineyard (with the exception of 5 acres of Syrah that were designed and planted by John Alban in 1998). Jennifer ran the blending and oak programs, pulling from her exploration of French wine while studying in France, and her extensive experience guiding New Orleans Magazine’s food and wine section.
Together with Terry’s family, they designed and constructed the 3,000 square foot steel-framed winery and tasting room, incorporating 150 year old barn wood salvaged from a farm in Iowa. Though small, the winery building boasts a full production facility along with two intimate tasting rooms, with Jennifer and Terry’s personal touches evident throughout.
“When all the components come together, they make a truly unique expression of Paso Robles terroir, light on its feet but still packed to the brim with character and intensity.” — Justin Smith on Terry Hoage Vineyards fruit
We are situated on the conical hills of west Paso Robles in the Willow Creek District. Here the calcareous rich soils and the large diurnal temperature shifts contribute to a unique growing environment. This allows for great acid retention during later season ripening and ultimately a dynamic and fresh profile in the finished wine.
“As conscientious stewards of the land, we use all avenues available to us to ensure the preservation of vital natural resources.” — Terry Hoage
One of our strengths as a small grower is the ability to micro-manage the vineyard over the growing season. We can break the vineyard blocks down into small sections and make the necessary decisions during the season to grow the fruit for a Pick, 5 Blocks, or Hedge.
“We believe in a minimalist approach to winemaking, with attention to detail in the vineyard being essential. Good winemaking begins in the vineyard.” ‑Phil LaMontagne
We hand pick the estate fruit at night. After we bring the grapes in, we sort it and use an array of fermentation techniques to help craft the unique profiles of each of the wines. The finished fermentations move to barrel, are blended at 10 months, and age for an additional 8 – 16 months before bottling.
Phil LaMontagne took over the entire winemaking program here at TH in 2017. He grew up in Paso Robles, right within the Willow Creek sub-AVA, and graduated summa cum laude from the Wine and Viticulture program at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Before he settled into being a full-time winemaker, Phil spent some time as a musician and he combines creativity and technique to bring an artisan spirit to each of the wines he makes.
“Each harvest is an opportunity to capture a unique and authentic snapshot of a wine, from a specific time, and a specific place. Making a wine that is honest and pays homage to the varietal, the vintage, and the site, is always my goal.”
Cyril joined the team in the Spring of 2018 as a harvest intern. He grew up in Toulouse, located in the southwest part of France, and graduated from Culinary School. Before settling in Paso and shifting his career to the wine industry, he worked as a Restaurant Manager and Sommelier in restaurants and hotels for 12 years and lived in London, Las Vegas, and New York.
Cyril stepped in as our Vineyard Supervisor in 2019 and continues to play a large role in monitoring the replanting of our property. He assists Phil in all aspects of the winemaking process and continues to learn and appreciate the way winemaking is approached in California.
Stephanie is originally from Chicago and joined the TH team towards the end of 2020, shortly after finishing up her Wine and Viticulture degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. While wine was not on her radar before moving out to the Central Coast, she fell in love with the chemistry behind it during her time studying abroad in Adelaide, South Australia.
Stephanie currently oversees the tasting room and wine club and holds her WSET Level 3 with Merit. She enjoys learning about every aspect of the industry and helps out on the production side when she can.