Wayne Hogue, founder of Napa Valley's The Terraces winery, died April 26, in McKinleyville, Calif., at the age of 89.
Hogue bought 22 acres of vines located in the eastern foothills of Rutherford from the Werle family in 1978. He sold his first crop from the site, known as the Terraces Vineyard, to Caymus in the early 1980s. Tasting the grapes, owner Charlie Wagner told Hogue that he should be making his own wine.
Soon after, Caymus produced a 1985 Zinfandel and a 1986 Cabernet, the first releases from the Terraces winery. Hogue eventually built his own facility, which opened in 1991. “Hogue became part of the family,” said current Caymus owner Chuck Wagner, fondly remembering fishing trips with his father and Hogue. "He was kind, honest, engaging and brought happiness to wherever he went and to whomever he came across.”
Hogue served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and spent much of his career as a financial advisor before purchasing the vineyards. After he did some replanting, the property was divided between Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, from which a few hundred cases were made. The wines received critical acclaim over the years. In 2001, Hogue sold the property to the Crull family, who owned the adjacent Quarry Vineyards, part of the original Werle property. The wines from the combined site are now sold as The Terraces at Quarry Vineyards.
“He was an asset in the valley,” said Wagner. "His vineyard was meticulously cared for, his expression of wines much like the man himself, approachable, rich in character, singular in style."