Fantesca Estate & Winery is rich with history, having originally been in the dowry of Caroline Bale when she married Charles Krug in 1860. Even then, the property was recognized as prime mountain vineyard land and the perfect place for a Spring Mountain winery. In 1889, a Cabernet made by Hannah Weinberger, one of the earliest female winemakers, won one of the first awards for a wine from the Napa Valley. Susan and Duane Hoff were college sweethearts at the University of Minnesota and have been happily married since 1988. Cupid was not finished with Susan and Duane, however: in many subsequent vacations to the Napa Valley over the years, the Hoffs fell in love with the possibilities that Napa Valley presented to them.

Susan and Duane started looking for properties with which to found a winery. They were soon introduced to Cary Gott, a wine industry veteran of over 35 years who was to become their trusted business advisor and a close friend. They had looked at more than a dozen properties by the time Gott learned that a property in the highly-regarded Spring Mountain District was for sale. The Hoffs were immediately taken with the house, vistas and gardens – so much so that when recounting their first visit, Duane laughed, and said, “I don’t want to see anymore of the house; I want to taste the wine, because if the quality of the wine isn’t there, we can’t purchase the house.” Luckily for the Hoffs, the wine quality was in the barrel, and they closed on the property in February 2004, thus founding their Spring Mountain winery.

In early 2008, this spirit came full circle as Fantesca proudly welcomed an exciting new addition to their winemaking team, veteran winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett, whose stellar Napa Valley resume includes winemaking stints at Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, and her own La Sirena.

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