At Hill Family Estate, we pursue excellence in every facet of our business. Since the inaugural 2001 vintage, Alison Doran has achieved this goal in crafting wines that are expressive of the vineyards that Doug Hill farms. While 2019 will represent her 42nd vintage, Alison has an endless curiosity when it comes to winemaking and enjoys collaborating with others in the industry.

Recently, we had an opportunity to add Jean Hoefliger to our team, who shares a similar vision in the methods of winemaking. Working with Jean has allowed us to experiment with different types of fermentations, including open-top fermentation, which adds more density and structure to the palate. One of Jean’s biggest strengths is blending, and the blends that Jean and Alison have crafted together have already been well received: 2016 Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded 95 points from both Robert Parker and James Suckling.

Jean Hoefliger is both an artist and a scientist in the field of winemaking. Born and raised in Switzerland, he first worked on his godfather’s estate. Soon he decided to forego a career in international finance to become more intimately involved in the fascinating field of winemaking. Determined to learn winemaking from the best at the time, he moved to Bordeaux, France and then to South Africa to further his training.

In the meantime, Jean completed his formal viticulture and winemaking education at the Swiss Federal School at Changins, the only National Centre of Excellence for viticulture, oenology, and arboriculture.

Jean later made his way to the United States and worked at Hartford Court, Newton and Alpha Omega in Napa Valley. In April 2019, Jean shifted his focus to consulting winemaker, opting to spread his knowledge and uncanny instincts to help more Napa Valley wineries achieve their goals.