Sexy, Smart, and Unpretentious
With a namesake based on a sexy, smart, and strong-willed female character in the Italian theatrical performances of Commedia dell’Arte, Fantesca Estate & Winery has captured the estate’s feminine lineage while producing world-class wines in the Napa Valley.
Dating back to 1860, the estate was the original dowry of Caroline Bale, who married Charles Krug. Then, In 1889 Hannah Weinberger made history, receiving one of the first awards for her Cabernet Sauvignon off the property. Today, Fantesca Estate & Winery has built a reputation for producing exquisite wines made from world-renown winemaker Heidi Barrett, showcasing their historical terroir from vine to bottle. “La Fantesca was described as a sexy, smart, and unpretentious character. With a strong female heritage, we knew we had found a name worth living up to,” said Proprietress of Fantesca Estate & Winery, Susan Hoff.While celebrating Valentine’s Day, Susan and Duane Hoff purchased the Spring Mountain 53 acre parcel with a 10-acre vineyard in 2004 as a gift to one another. College sweethearts, the two entrepreneurs exchanged their corporate lifestyles for a family business in wine country. Bringing 30 years of experience to the forefront, the successful Minnesotans who helped build Best Buy into a Fortune 100 company moved to St. Helena, California, and established Fantesca Estate & Winery in 2007.
Producing 5,000 cases of Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, King Richard’s Reserve Pinot Noir, and All Great Things “Duty” Red Blend, the Hoff’s celebrate family and “togetherness” by welcoming guests to enjoy their full-service winery for private tours and tastings.
“Once we purchased the property, Duane went back to his farming roots while I continued my position with Best Buy. I also decided to obtain my MBA in International Wine Business at KEDGE in Bordeaux, France. Eventually, I left the corporate world to build the brand with my husband and our two children, and that was the best win of all,” said Hoff.Carrying on the spirit of La Fantesca, Chelsea Hoff is next in line to carry the torch. A UC Davis graduate, Chelsea has interned at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in the Bordeaux region of France, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, and has created her own label, Fearless Wines, while working under the direction of Heidi Barrett.
Together, the Hoff family has dedicated themselves to the legacy of the land. Showcasing strength and vitality, their wines are a reflection of a heritage rooted in femininity.
Story By: Valerie Owens // Photos Courtesy of Fantesca Estate & Winery
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