Calistoga, Napa Valley

John Schwartz met the woman who is now his wife at a gathering in the French Alps when he loudly yelled “FEU” (fire!) to clear the room and catch her attention. He more than caught her attention: They eventually married and subsequently named their winery Coup de Foudre which roughly translates as “lightning strike” or “love at first sight.”

John started in the wine business in 1988 importing California wines into Japan and is currently the CEO at Coup de Foudre, where he oversees business operations and production. He is assisted by staff members who handle winemaking, compliance, accounting, and sales. Full time head winemaker Kent Jarman previously worked at Duckhorn and Spring Mountain and has been making Coup de Foudre wines since 2007. 

John’s winemaking team farms just about 15 acres of vines in a vineyard that abuts Keneflick Ranch and Au Sommet. The first vintage of Coup de Foudre was 2004. John’s other brand Les Bouquinistes is now on its 8th vintage, or “8th chapter” as he prefers to say. Each chapter has an associated book and this year the title is I AM NUJOOD, written by Nujood Ali who as a 10-year-old was forced to marry a 30-year-old man. She later escaped and became the first child bride to successfully win a divorce in Yemen. 

Pictured above: I AM NUJOOD, written by Nujood Ali

Equally passionate about wine and Les Bouquinistes’ social mission, John told 672, “It is our social conscious wine that brings much needed awareness to third world causes we care deeply about. We focus primarily on the plight of young women and girls without a true voice in places far less fortunate than ours. We have raised and donated over $250,000 to vetted charities in far reaching places like Cambodia, Nepal, Syria, India and Africa.”

Speaking about Coup de Foudre 2021 Les Bouquinistes Calistoga Napa Valley Red Blend recently sent to club members, John stated, “It is a marvelous field blend of Napa Valley varieties showcasing masterful blending skills to create a balanced, fruit-forward wine that is approachable now and will age gracefully for years to come. It is a great value, highly rated wine from Napa Valley.”

Coup de Foudre also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and a red Bordeaux style blend.  Most of its wines are sold directly from the winery or their tasting room in Napa, but Coup de Foudre also distributes wines to 20 states and twelve export markets including Dubai, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Mongolia, and Taiwan. 

Coup de Foudre – 2021 Les Bouquinistes Red Blend

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