Former University of Georgia All-American and 1984 SEC Athlete of the Year Terry Hoage knows his way around the gridiron, but he also knows a thing or two about wine. In fact, Hoage, who spent 13 years with six different NFL teams, wants people to know him best for the wines he produces under his TH Estate Wines ($45-$88) label. He helped build his Paso Robles-based winery from the ground up (even designing and building the grape press), with the first vintage completed in 2002 and the winery in 2005. Now, he and wife Jennifer focus on crafting powerful but elegant Rhone-style wines that show the power, intensity and elegance that can be achieved with varietals such as syrah, grenache and mourvèdre. Hoage’s wines are exceptional (and priced to reflect this), making them quite giftworthy, especially for UGA fans who will appreciate that several wines have monikers that pay homage to his days in Athens, as well as his NFL career. Consider Hoage’s The Hedge (named for, yes, the legendary hedges at Sanford Stadium); it’s a sumptuous syrah ripe with blue-black fruits, spice and smoke. Head to your local wine store or Houston’s to taste his creations.
TH Estate Wines’ vineyard
Photography by: Courtesy of TH estate