As anyone who follows wine knows, 2015 was the year of the millennial and their ever-growing love for wine. According to a recent study, people aged 21-38 drank nearly half of the wine purchased in America in 2015, and they’re willing to spend a bit more to try new, unusual varietals.
Gone are the days of wine being perceived as über pretentious, or as a drink solely reserved for more mature folks. There is a whole new air of youthfulness, exploration & rule breaking in the wine world, as well as a desire to shatter long-held perceptions of the fermented juice. One California producer in particular embodies the spirit of youth and make-your-own-rules like no other: Hobo Wine Company.
There are actually a few labels under the Hobo Wine Co. umbrella, each with its own unique name and persona. Hobo includes a Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and an old vine Grenache – all of which are 100% Sonoma County. Banyan Wines is essentially one wine – a Monterey County Gewürztraminer that pairs perfectly with spicy foods. Camp includes a Sonoma County Chardonnay and Zinfandel, both showcasing the quality of Sonoma wines for an affordable price. Folk Machine is primarily Pinot Noir and a few other eclectic varietals – including my personal favorite, “Film & Camera” Valdiguie.
I had the pleasure of visiting Hobo Wine Company during one of their pick up events. Their “tasting room” is housed in a large, unmarked warehouse in an industrial area of Santa Rosa. When we walked inside, it was as if we’d walked into the coolest family gathering ever. There was a table with Hobo wines lined up for tasting (help yourself), cheese, crackers, dogs playing, kids playing, stacks of wine barrels, music posters & skateboards hanging on the walls, a serious game of bean bag toss in session. The whole vibe was casual, totally unique, and so much fun.
We also spoke with the winemaker (and former skateboarder) Kenny Likitprakong and his wife Lynn who told us a little about how they got into the wine world, their winemaking philosophy, and where to get more great wine and food in Sonoma County.
Despite the casual atmosphere in the tasting room, Kenny’s wines are serious. You can taste the 14+ years of winemaking he has under his belt since founding Hobo Wine Co. in 2002. His wines follow more of an Old World style – well-balanced, a bit lower in alcohol than your typical California wines, and excellent with food (or without).
I’m so glad we got to experience Hobo Wine Company and meet the wonderful family who makes their wines. Before our visit to the winery in Santa Rosa, I tasted the Folk Machine “Film & Camera” Valdiguie at AOC in Los Angeles. Since then, I’ve seen it at some of my favorite local wine stores, including Domaine LA, and very recently at the brand new Whole Foods in downtown LA. I’m so happy to see this new wine spirit spreading thanks to such an amazing label.
HOBO WINE COMPANY
412 Timothy Road, Suite C
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Phone: (707) 887-0833
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
* Tastings by appointment ONLY. Please call ahead to schedule a visit.