A Wine Maker’s Dream
Hopwood Cellars Winery uncorks local fine wines
Writer / Jane VanOsdol
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Keep in mind that Hopwood didn’t just whip this up on a whim. He had been studying the craft and making wine as an amateur since 1994, so the wine he provided for his guests was the result of years of research.
From Hobby to Business
His “hobby gone wild” quickly took over the house, and Hopwood quit his real estate job to work in the wine industry. The birth of his two children inspired him to pursue his dream wholeheartedly.
“I want to leave my footprint on this earth,” Hopwood says. In 2012 with the support of his wife, family and friends, he started Hopwood Cellars Winery in Zionsville.
The winery has been a hit in Central Indiana.
“Indiana is an artisan state,” Hopwood says. “People like to eat and drink locally.”
It’s been so successful, in fact, that they have outgrown the current grounds and are looking for property to expand. Plans include a larger facility that would house a restaurant and vineyard.
“How better than by planting vines in the ground?” he says. “Those vines will live on hundreds of years after me.”
Hopwood is passionate about his business, but is adamant that is takes more than passion.
“You need persistence to push the passion,” Hopwood says. “Without persistence, passion is just a dream. I am extremely persistent in getting this done.”
While Hopwood hopes that his children want to someday take over the business, he is clear that it’s not exclusively family run. He wants the best person for the job and frequently hires outside of family.
“I am extremely loyal to my staff,” he says.
He makes it possible for his employees to move up through the company if they want. Indeed, all employees undergo three months of training with Hopwood so that each one is quite knowledgeable about the business.
“We live and breathe customer service,” Hopwood says.
It’s All About the Wine
And of course, he wouldn’t have a business if the wine wasn’t good. Years of research have shown Hopwood that many of the wines around the world are sub-par, often stretched out with additives and water to meet a demand that is bigger than their supply.
Hopwood’s wines have won numerous trophies and medals nationwide. They currently offer 13 wines with something for every taste preference.
What You Need to Know
The winery is open seven days a week and offers lightweight fare as well as wine. Plans are in the works to offer heartier menu selections soon. Every Friday and Saturday evening features live entertainment. The winery hosts showers, parties, classes and business events, and they will come to offsite events as well.
Mark your calendar for September 23 and the Big Grape Stomp event, which is always a people pleaser.