Austin Hope (born 1973) is the president and winemaker of Hope Family Wines, a Paso Robles, California-based wine producer encompassing the Liberty School, Treana, Austin Hope, Troublemaker and Candor wine labels. He lives in Paso Robles, California with his wife, Celeste Hope.
A third generation farmer, Hope moved from Bakersfield to Paso Robles with his family in 1978 when his parents Chuck and Marlyn Hope bought a ranch to plant apple orchards and grape vineyards. The Hope family realized that Paso Robles was better suited for grape growing, which became their signature crop. Hope was eight years old when the grapes came on the line; growing up, he would often play in the vineyards as his father worked.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Hope family grew grapes for various wine producers. In the 1980s, the Wagner family, owners of Napa Valley’s Caymus Vineyards turned to the Hope family to source Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for their Liberty School label. This began a long-lasting partnership between the two families. While studying fruit science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Hope spent some time working in Napa Valley under Caymus Winemaker Chuck Wagner. This opportunity solidified his decision to pursue winemaking for his family, which later became Hope Family Wines.
After graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science, Hope helped oversee his family’s transition from growers to winemakers. That year, the Hopes acquired Liberty School from the Wagners. In 1996, they launched Treana Winery – Hope helped produce Treana’s debut 1996 vintage as assistant winemaker under Chris Phelps. Hope became the head winemaker in 1998 and has held the position ever since. Since taking the lead as president and winemaker, Hope has helped Hope Family Wines grow from producing around 20,000 cases per year to over 300,000 cases per year.
In 2000, the Hope family started a limited-production label, Austin Hope, focused exclusively on Rhone varietals grown on the family’s vineyard, located in one of the Templeton Gap area’s microclimates in Paso Robles’ cooler climate west side.
In 2008, the Hope family introduced Candor Wines, a multi-vintage label focusing on Zinfandel and Merlot wines with fruit sourced from family-owned vineyards in Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and Lodi. It introduced its second multi-vintage blend, named Troublemaker, in 2010. Hope believes multi-vintage blending enables enhanced complexity and drinkability.
Hope was named “Winemaker of the Year” at the California Mid-State Fair in 2009. He is currently the chairman of the Paso Robles Wine County Alliance.