Stan Hock's Biography: The Early Years
Stan Hock was born in a small town in New Jersey, but moved to Los Angeles as a child and attended Beverly Hills High School, where he played varsity basketball and was president of his senior class. Stan entered the University of California, Berkeley in the fall of 1967 and somehow managed to survive the next four years without being imprisoned (for more than a few days at a time), getting drafted or blowing his mind out in a car. In his early 20s, Stan discovered wine - Heitz Burgundy, Kenwood Red Table Wine and Sutter Home Deaver Ranch Zinfandel were early favorites - and his knowledge and appreciation grew rapidly through the tutelage of Darrell Corti, the legendary Sacramento grocer/wine merchant, and now-famed importer Kermit Lynch. After a three-year stint in the post office, Stan worked as a stock boy for a direct wine importer named George Linton, who operated a small warehouse near downtown Berkeley that was open to the public three hours every Saturday afternoon. It was there that Stan had the pleasure of carrying out cases of fine wine to Alice Waters' station wagon and the Harleys of Tom Keating and Ben Davidson, two very large, fearsome lineman for the Oakland Raiders. Stan took advantage of the generous employee discount George Linton offered to abscond each Saturday with a great bottle of wine - 1963 Croft Port was a favorite - which he invariably drank that evening.
In 1979, Stan co-founded a fine wine store in downtown Berkeley dedicated to boutique California wines. Well-situated just a half-block from the UCB campus, Trumpetvine Wines quickly earned a large, loyal audience of professors, graduate students and former revolutionaries who had decided that drinking well was the best revenge. The store's witty, widely read newsletter eventually reached 20,000 wine lovers throughout Northern California, which resulted in Stan writing articles about wine for a wide range of local and national newspapers and magazines. Thirty-five years down the line, he is still slinging words on wine, and deeply grateful for the opportunity.
Stan lives in the leafy, serene enclave of Kensington, in the hills just northeast of Berkeley. In addition to wine, his passions include his lovely, brilliant daughter, baseball, great literature, music, foreign travel and long walks in the Bay Area's beautiful parklands.