French Insider Podcast Episode 14: French Investments in the U.S. Wine Industry


For this episode of French Insider, Jean Hoefliger, noted wine consultant, entrepreneur, and founder of JH Wine Consultants, joins us to discuss French investments in the U.S. wine industry, including the many factors drawing French winemakers to the Napa Valley and how the rise of venture-backed startups has altered the winemaking landscape.

About Jean Hoefliger

Born and raised in Switzerland, Jean has decades of winemaking experience and has worked in vineyards worldwide, including California, Bordeaux, Texas, and South Africa. As a wine consultant, he has helped build client wineries across the globe, including Montevereo in Tuscany and Grapeheart in Suisun Valley, as well as AXR and The Debate in Napa Valley, to name a few. His many accolades include two 100-point scores awarded by Jebb Dunnuck and Robert Parker for his Napa-based The Debate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jean's consulting business encompasses everything he loves, from managing farming and crafting world-class wines to advising on business strategies and even building and implementing the sales structure for clients.

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What We Discussed in This Episode:

  • What is drawing investors to the Napa Valley?
  • What is drawing French winemakers to the Napa Valley?
  • Who are some of the big players that already have a presence in the Napa Valley?
  • As a winemaker, what's different about doing business in the Napa Valley vs. France?
  • Are other U.S. winemaking regions becoming more significant in the market?
  • How is the growing number of wineries impacting the overall market?
  • Has the rise of venture-backed startups in the industry shifted the dynamic for producers?
  • What should French companies keep in mind as they seek to enter the U.S. wine market?
  • How are winemakers dealing with climate change?
  • Despite the challenges of the last two years, including COVID and wildfires, wineries have continued to grow. Why is that?
  • What are some of the long-term impacts of climate change on wineries in France and across Europe? How can new technology help mitigate these impacts?
  • How does the diverse range of U.S. wine-producing regions act as an additional draw for French investors?

Contact Information

Jean Hoefliger

JH Wine Consulting

Sheppard Mullin French Desk

Co-Chair: Valérie Demont

Co-Chair: Christine Hoefliger Hourcade




This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs


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