Tom was living his dream; radio! Building towers or stations, broadcasting, managing, and ownership all held his interest. Radio is a fast paced business which left Tom with little time for other ventures, until the day he met wife, Cheryl. Cheryl grew up driving tractors and caring for livestock. Her favorite days involved landscaping and everything in the out of doors. She dreamt of one day building a cabin in the Blue Mountains. He wore a suit and she preferred her straw farm hat. These differences in lifestyles and backgrounds made one ponder “what did they have in common?” The answer to that begins with their mutual fascination with world travel and a love of great wine!
The Hodgins launched their new “Smooth Jazz 101.9 FM” radio station; an instant success in the wine corridor of South East Washington. The 1980’s radio show “The Hiney Winery” also proved to be another perfect marriage with the new wine venture the Hodgins were embarking. Thus the link with radio and wine started to develop. Surrounded by friends and family who were already active in the wine industry, the two were quickly captivated with every aspect of the business.
In 2000, Tom and Cheryl joined with friends and invested in the Ash Hollow Vineyard located 17 miles west of Walla Walla. From this point, the Hodgins were truly aware of their passion of transforming vine to wine. The distinction of the fruit in the Walla Walla AVA was an automatic promotional point for tourism, right down Tom’s radio alley. Chuck Reiniger, Jay Tucker, the Nelsons, and the Hairs were just a few in this new group all forging new careers as wine makers, vineyard managers and most importantly all were wine lovers.