Walt and Katherine
Walt and Katherine Schlotfeldt have visited and developed relationships in California wine country for decades. In 2012 they committed to finding a second home in the Napa Valley. They found an ideal 42-acre ranch in the hills above St. Helena with 11.5 acres planted to cabernet sauvignon. Their philosophy has always been to nurture and care for their property and to try to make everything the very best possible. In 2015 they enlisted renowned viticulturist Jim Barbour, who had developed the property 25 years ago, to manage, upgrade and expand their vineyards. Today, Denali Estate has been recognized as a premier hillside vineyard location.
Jean Hoefliger is a man with a quixotic mission: He is inspired and driven by the quest for creative perfection while knowing full well that it can never be achieved. An artisan who has always been motivated to push the envelope; he relies on a commitment to constant scientific research matched by an open-minded, entrepreneurial creativity. With his background in international finance and decades of wine industry experience—from Bordeaux and South Africa to Spain, Italy and California—Jean is a rare combination of expertise in winemaking, viticulture and real-world business acumen.
Jean’s naturally ebullient joie de vivre and love of a good joke run in counterpoint to his typically Swiss discretion and analytical nature. He has an insatiable appetite for art, philosophy and a good discussion, all pursuits he enjoys indulging whether in the vineyard, at the winery, at home, or around the table with friends old and new.
In his 40-year career, Jim Barbour has planted and managed some of Napa Valley’s most highly regarded vineyards and collaborated with leading winemakers to create some of Napa Valley’s finest wines. He has made a lifelong commitment to providing the best viticulture service in Napa Valley vineyards. He has continued to serve as an advocate for responsible and sustainable farming practices.
Jim was born in San Francisco, moved to Napa Valley as a child, and was raised in Rutherford on his family’s ranch along Highway 29. Their Gamay, Mondeuse, and Petit Bouschet crops were harvested for Gallo’s jug program. He graduated from UC-Davis with a bachelor’s degree in plant science (viticulture) and returned to Napa Valley to begin a career that would lead him to become one of its foremost viticulturists. Jim worked with Laurie Wood at Frank Wood & Sons until Laurie’s retirement in 1990 and when Jim started Barbour Vineyards Management & Development.
Jim is an avid outdoorsman and devoted fly fisherman. When he’s not in a vineyard, he can be found in the running waters of a stream filled with rainbows and browns.