The Hobo Wine Company
This is an excellent example of a young man trying to make his way in the wine world without compromising his ambition and determination to produce some outlandish wines, this blog is full of life and story-telling from a man who called his own wines 'Hobo'.
Everything about Kenny’s story has an independent attitude. His career path included many roads that enabled him to pursue his passions for skateboarding and snowboarding in tandem with plenty of world travel — all of which contributed to his role as the winemaker behind Hobo Wine Company.
Read between the lines and you will find Kenny is a very smart individual with raw passion for the wine scene today with flair and tenacity his main traits.
It's a simple mission.
Hobo's ideas and preferences about wine are always changing, but the core and root of what excites Kenny is a constant. The possibility for wine to create a community, to be history, to tell a story, and to transcend time and place is what enchants, captivates, and inspires this modern day wine maker. The wines that achieve these ethereal qualities are produced by craftsmen/women with an artisan approach to growing grapes and making wines. They are Vignerons who raise their vines and wines with great thought and patience to instill their wines with personality, character and a sense of place.
Though techniques vary somewhat from wine to wine, vineyard to vineyard, and vintage to vintage, Kenny's basic approach is consistent. He believe's in unforced wines. He believe's in making the best wine possible, but there are lines which he is not willing to cross. 'We believe in minimal processing as a goal, but modern winemaking as an option. Stylistically, we strive for balance above all else, but varietal and geographical distinction are also goals' (Kenny)
Kenny on Hobo in 2004
The question always comes up, “Why Hobo?” A friend in the wine industry once told me that he figured the hobo name came from the fact that I was about the dirtiest winemaker he knew. The part about me being the dirtiest winemaker might be true, but it is not where the name came from. It’s partly a trip I’m on about a dead American era and partly about the fact that I don’t own a winery or any vineyards. If you are looking for estate bottled wines, you have come to the wrong place.
Hobo is my tribute and homage to a freedom and an era that I grew up romanticizing. I think I spent a lot of my late teens and early twenties chasing the rambling ways of the American Hobo. When I was seventeen I started traveling around, listening to Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen and the likes, seeing the different parts of the country and other countries, writing in journals and taking photos and didn’t really stop until I was twenty-three or twenty-four. As the experiences racked up, I found out that the hoboes had disappeared. The hobo had become a relic in the story of our expanding country. Like all good heroes, I figured they deserved their place in history and on wine bottles.
Instead of becoming a hobo, I became a “Hobo Winemaker.” Of the two ways to make wine, with and without money, the first should probably be the only, but a few of us slip through the cracks and do it on the skinny. No winery, no vineyards, no truck, no warehouse, no employees…nothing. There are advantages. Making small lots comes naturally, the flexibility to pick and choose grape type, vineyard, appellation, and winery on an ongoing basis, and a larger circle of people involved which means more ideas and expertise.
If you would like to try some of these interesting wines (I highly recommend the unfiltered Pinot Noir!) then you can add them to your basket below.
- Chris Rogers