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“Between Pat and Joe’s experience with their vines planted in 2005 along with what makes an outstanding wine for a collector, and my experience in winemaking and terroir around the world, we have built an environment to constantly challenge each other to seek excellence.”
– JEAN HOEFLIGER
JOE & PAT HARBISON, Owners
As the son of an executive father who traveled and entertained, Joe became interested in wine in his early teens when he began reading wine lists during business dinners as a means to pass the time. By the time he was 19, he purchased his first wine cellar from a private collector which fortuitously was filled with 1961 Bordeaux first growth wines. He began reading everything he could find about wine, including then-popular magazines, Wine World and Vintage. After graduating from Villanova, he became a commissioned officer in the Navy and an intelligence officer for the Sixth Fleet. Stationed in the Mediterranean gave Joe further chance to study Spanish, French and Italian wines. After leaving the Navy, Joe contemplated a career in wine or law. He enrolled in law school specializing in victim advocacy near the University of California, Davis and satisfied his wine interests by volunteering to work harvests in Napa Valley. A true wine collector and enthusiast, Joe is confident he has tasted every significant wine produced from 1900-2000.
JEAN HOEFLIGER, Winemaker
Motivated to push the envelope, Jean continually pursuant of perfection although he understands there is no such thing, whether it be in wine or life. Born and raised in Switzerland, Jean’s artisan background transformed him into nomad experiencing and learning about wine while immersed in new cultures. Traveling from Switzerland to Bordeaux and South Africa, Jean has made wine at the esteemed estates of Chateau Lynch-Bages, Chateau Carbonnieux, and Meerlust. Jean completed his winemaking and viticulture degree at the Swiss federal school of Changins, then migrated to California where he spent five years as winemaker for Newton Vineyard. Jean is a concurrent consulting winemaker at several vineyards across the valley including: AXR, The Debate, V Madrone, Clark-Claudon, Denali Estate, Maxville Winery, Theorize and Sunshine Valley Vineyards.
Jean’s work with Harbison Estate is very exciting. He said, “I think Harbison Estate is one of the greatest terroirs I’ve ever worked with in Napa Valley. It is one of these sites where the first time I walked the vineyard and tasted the grapes, I knew exceptional wine will be made from it.”