Winemaker, Alpha Omega
Jean Hoefliger is a passionate Swiss talent who has doubled as Alpha Omega's winemaker and general manager since the winery's inception in 2006. Pairing his global winemaking experience gained working for the esteemed estates of Chateau Lynch-Bages and Chateau Carbonnieux in Bordeaux, Meerlust Inc., in South Africa, Fonjallaz S.A. in Switzerland and Hartford Court in Sonoma's Russian River with his formal education, Jean brought his skills and enthusiasm to Napa Valley.
Seduced by California's diverse soil and ability to express his creativity, Jean planted himself at Newton Vineyard in Napa Valley's Spring Mountain where he spent five years as winemaker until plucked by newcomer Alpha Omega. Part artist, part mad scientist, Jean helped the fledgling winery that set out to be recognized as one of the great wine estates in the world quickly make a name for itself.
Jean's zeal, knowledge, innate ability and scientific training puts him in a unique position to take the best grapes of Napa Valley and transform them into award-winning and critically-acclaimed wines for Alpha Omega.
Country born: Switzerland
Education: Swiss degrees in enology and viticulture from the Federal Winemaking School of Changins and in science from the Maturite Federale. Mentor: Michel Rolland.
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Honors / Awards:
Jean's Alpha Omega ERA 2012 and Beckstoffer To Kalon 2013 received 98 points from Robert Parker while Beckstoffer To Kalon 2007 also scored 98 points from Parker. Jean's Beckstoffer Dr. Crane 2014 and Beckstoffer Dr. Crane 2013 received 96+ points while both Beckstoffer To Kalon 2014 and Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper 2014 received 96 points, all from Parker.
Alpha Omega Reserve Chardonnay 2013 won the Best of Show platinum medal at the International Chardonnay Symposium 2016 and the top joint score at the Global Chardonnay Masters 2016.
Jean believes in reinventing the wheel. This passionate Swiss talent thrives on pushing the winemaking envelope, is never static and always doubts himself. Those distinguishable characteristics enable him to constantly push forward and progress with each vintage.
He flaunts a high-risk winemaking style, characterized by long, natural barrel fermentation which takes an average of 10 months -- he also often leaves red wines on skins for up to 90 days while most winemakers opt for 21 to 30 days -- to handcraft wines that are intriguing, complex and express the unique terroir of Napa Valley.
Working with world-renowned consulting winemaker Michel Rolland and utilizing prized grapes from Alpha Omega's historic vineyards, Jean creates approachable wines that can be enjoyed early but are built to age for many years.