Fantesca takes pride in its internationally-renowned team. The vision of Fantesca’s proprietors combined with the talented winery staff, sales team and viticulture technicians help make Fantesca Estate & Winery the magical place it is today.
Duane was recruited by his wife, Susan, to join Best Buy. He started as an Assistant Store Manager in 1992, and by 1998 he was VP of Business Development and Strategy.
Perhaps his largest contribution to the company was the development of their small store initiative. The smaller prototype allowed the company to successfully enter new markets generating an additional $400 million in annual sales. Duane left Best Buy in 2004 to found Fantesca Estate & Winery with his wife.
Duane is active in the community raising money for educational and leadership opportunities for St. Helena students. Duane enjoys an active lifestyle of triathlons, surfing and touch rugby, and is in complete denial to the protests of his aging body.
Susan and her husband Duane founded Fantesca Estate & Winery in 2004 after retiring from executive positions at Fortune 100 retailer, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY). Minneapolis natives, college sweethearts and entrepreneurs at heart, building a business together in the famed Napa Valley was their next dream venture. Today, Susan and Duane enjoy all that Napa Valley life has to offer while growing a business with their adult children – one of whom is an aspiring winemaker, and the other, a budding biotech entrepreneur.
Susan began a 30-year career with Best Buy during its start-up days. She debuted as accounts payable clerk in 1983, working her way though college. Upon graduating from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, she became the primary communications strategist for the Fortune 100 company and held the role for nearly 25 years. Her team consisted of Public, Government, Community and Investor Relations, and Employee Communications.
A firm believer in community involvement, Susan established the Best Buy Children’s Foundation (BBCF) and its famed Charity Classic, a high-profile, multi million-dollar fundraising event benefitting national children’s programs today. Recently, she was named to the board of trustees of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and the Innovation Board at XPrize. Susan and her husband now focus their philanthropic efforts through local non-profits and entrepreneurial start-ups in the San Francisco Bay area.
A perpetual learner, Susan earned her MBA in International Wine Business at KEDGE in Bordeaux, France in 2007, graduating with distinction. When she’s not at the winery or on a conference call, you can find Susan in the gym. She achieved certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a personal trainer in 2013, and in August 2015 was awarded her Fitness Pro Card at the World Bodybuilding Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) International Worlds Competition. Learn more: www.susanhoff.fitness.
Celebrated winemaker Heidi Barrett has been referred to as “The Wine Diva of Napa” and as “The First Lady of Wine,” but she is surely one of the hardest-working women in Napa Valley, if not the entire world of winemaking. Well-regarded for the exceptionally high quality of wines she has produced for Amuse Bouche, Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle and her own winery, La Sirena, Heidi Barrett has assured her place as one of the world’s premium producers of cult Napa wines.
Tony graduated from UC Davis with a Regents Scholarship, and then followed it up with a Fellowship from the International Wine and Food Society. He worked at Stagecoach Vineyards, and did a fellowship at Maison M. Chapoutier in France. He also worked as an Assistant Winemaker at Nickel & Nickel before joining Fantesca as Associate Winemaker in 2009. In addition to working closely with Heidi Barrett on all of Fantesca’s wines, Tony is the sole Winemaker on our King Richard’s Reserve Pinot Noir. Tony puts all his experiences into his winemaking, including the detours, bringing together art, science and agriculture.
Jim Barbour was raised in a Napa Valley grape-growing family and today has 35 years of experience in agribusiness. In 1990, Jim founded Barbour Vineyards, which currently manages or consults for 400 acres of premium vineyards. Over the past 24 years, Jim has led the way in managing and developing some of the best-known vineyards in the Napa Valley, including Amuse Bouche, Barnett Vineyards, La Sirena Vineyards and Hundred Acre Vineyards. Along with these vineyards, Jim has worked side by side with some of Napa Valley’s top winemakers, such as Heidi Barrett, Celia Welch, Philippe Melka, Thomas Brown and Karen Culler.