Hoage was born in Ames, Iowa. Terry moved to Huntsville,Texas in 1968 and attended elementary, intermediate and high school in Huntsville. In Jr High and High school he played Football, Basketball and ran track for five years and was a starter in football from his sophomore year through senior playing both ways, as quarterback and free safety. He was recognized on All Trinity Valley and All District for all three years. His academic standing was in the top five percent and took college prep courses all four years in High School. Although he was college material, only Georgia offered him football scholarship where became a starter in his sophomore year. Huntsville Independent School District 1976–1980.
Hoage attended the University of Georgia, where he played for coach Vince Dooley's Georgia Bulldogs football team from 1980 to 1983. As a junior and again as a senior, was a recognized as a consensus first All-American. Coach Dooley called Hoage "the best defensive player I've ever coached and maybe the best one I've ever seen." He finished fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1983. He graduated from Georgia in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in genetics with a 3.85 grade point average. Terry's college roommate, Mike Hubbard, became the first Republican Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives in 136 years.
After retiring from football, Hoage interned at Merrill Lynch, passed the Series 7 examination, and seemed on his way to a career in finance. However, as he would recall in a 2012 interview, "I absolutely hated it. The coat and tie. Going to the office. It didn't fit my personality at all." He and his wife Jennifer, along with their two children, then moved to Phoenix, where he started a construction company, but were still not satisfied with their family life. They then moved to Templeton, California, a small Central Coast town. He had one further opportunity to become involved in the game, but turned down Jeff Fisher's offer of a coaching position with the Tennessee Titans. Hoage then began farming a small piece of land in the area.
In 2002, the Hoages discovered a 26-acre (110,000 m2) vineyard in Paso Robles, California that had just come on the market. Terry called in Justin Smith, a friend and winemaker who would go on to produce a wine named by Wine Spectator as Wine of the Year, to evaluate the land. Yahoo! Sports writer Adam Watson said that Hoage's involvement with Smith was "the equivalent of shopping for a computer with a young Bill Gates." When Smith indicated that the property had world-class potential, the Hoages bought the property, moved onto it, and enlisted Smith to help them get started in the business. The association with Smith gave the Hoages credibility as they started their business, and they took over the winemaking in 2004.
They were named among the Top New California Wine Producers in 2008 by Wine Spectator. The vineyard is operated as Terry Hoage Vineyards and produces Rhone varietal wines. Hoage produces roughly 2,000 cases a year. The vineyard's first wine was The Hedge a Syrah. The "Hedge" refers both to a pruning technique and the fabled Hedges of the University of Georgia's Sanford Stadium. Hoage dedicated his first vintage of The Hedge to his former coach, Vince Dooley. Hoage's later wines have been marketed with names of a similar concept, playing off both his football and winemaking careers. "46" refers to the 46 defense created by Buddy Ryan, for whom Hoage played eight seasons, and Highway 46, that runs into Paso Robles. "Skins" refers both to the Redskins and grape skins. "5 Blocks" comes from Hoage's five blocked field goals at Georgia, plus the specific area of grapes used.