Voyages of Discovery

Vintner Robin Baggett returned to Edna Valley almost 40 years ago with a law degree and cowboy dreams of owning a cattle ranch like his grandfather. He bought a historic ranch in the valley but quickly learned that he needed a more productive use for the land than running cattle. Being in a region with a grape-growing history that stretches back to the 18th century, when Franciscans at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa produced some of California’s first wines of distinction, planting wine grapes was a natural choice. Robin and his partner Bob Schiebelhut began planting vineyards in 1988, adding several other historic family ranches in the valley over time. Together with Jim Efird, now retired, they founded Tolosa in 1998. Robin’s passion for wine making was born, and his wine journey began. 

In 2006, Robin embarked on the next stage of his adventure. Together with Michelle, who would become his wife, he founded Alpha Omega in Napa Valley, with the vision of creating world class Bordeaux wines.  Working with winemaker Jean Hoefliger and procuring prized grapes from the many appellations of Napa Valley, they have established a winery that handcrafts finesse-driven, complex and balanced wines expressing the aromatic profile of the best Napa Valley has to offer. 

Intrigued by the idea of creating Burgundian wines that express the same passion for excellence as the Bordeaux wines made by Alpha Omega, in 2015, Robin introduced our Napa winemakers to his home of so many years, Edna Valley - and Tolosa.  The next chapter of Tolosa began....

 

Tolosa partner and consulting winemaker Jean Hoefliger has been on his own journey to uncover the secrets of terroir in disparate parts of the globe.   Jean’s mix of scientific training, passion, and obsession with craft has made him one of the true voices of the New California wine revolution.

Jean was born and raised in Switzerland, and after receiving his degree from the Swiss federal school of Changins, he worked in Switzerland, Bordeaux, and South Africa at the estates of Chateau Lynch-Bages, Chateau Carbonnieux and Meerlust. He then moved to California, spending five years as the winemaker at Newton Vineyard before joining Alpha Omega. As the winemaker at Alpha Omega, he is creating wines that are a remarkable mix of Old and New World and recognized as some of the finest representations of the terroir that is Napa Valley. He also is continuing to pursue the artistry of world-class Pinot Noir that distinguished his tenure at Newton, Hartford Family Winery and Armanino Family Cellars, and during his early studies at the Fonjallaz family’s Swiss vineyards.