Andrew Hoxsey is a fourth generation grape grower who spent the summers of his youth learning the Napa Valley winegrowing business from the ground up. “I’d tag along with my grandfather’s ranch manager as much as he let me. That’s where I learned how to t-bud a vine.” After graduating from U.C. Davis with a degree in Agricultural Economics/Business Management, Andrew pursued a passion for flying, spending two years in the U.S. Air Force and several more as a Reserve Officer and pilot for Bank of America. But the pull of the Napa Valley wine grape business was strong, and in 1984 he returned to the valley to work side by side with his grandfather, Andrew Pelissa, who had amassed 635 acres of wine grapes.
Through the family business and his position on the Board of the Napa Valley Cooperative, a member-based organization that crushed a significant portion of Napa Valley’s grapes, Andrew was exposed to the near-constant fluctuations of the grape and wine business. Early on he recognized there was a shortage of winemaking facilities in Napa Valley; at times, particularly in plentiful vintages, growers simply had no place to crush their grapes. Determined not to let this happen to his family, in 1993 he organized the Pelissa family’s purchase of the historical Oakville winery that would become known as the Napa Wine Company.
Andrew spent the next few years completely renovating the winery, creating the space for his family to make wine but also developing one of Napa Valley’s first custom crush facilities designed to process premium quality grapes. “There were so many new producers coming to Napa Valley, but not all of them had the capital to build their own facilities. Napa Wine Company became the incubators for these brands, many of which made great names for themselves and went on to establish their own wineries.” Today, Napa Wine Company is still a brand “incubator,” and the Pelissa family, with Andrew in the lead, produces its own wines under the Bonded Winery #9 portfolio. He is joined in the family business by his two daughters, Kendall and Morgaen.