Winemaking is not just about harvesting grapes and producing bottles of wine. It entails great decision making that styles and designs a wine. It requires great attention to all the little details and utmost care so that each bottle will be worth the wait.
Fantesca Estate & Winery has been producing wines of great quality for years now. They have been delivering the best results which people can enjoy over dinners and celebrations. However, all of these would not be made possible if not for their resident winemaker who gives her all in making these great bottles of wine.
Let’s meet the woman behind Fantesca’s wines, Heidi P. Barrett.
Fantesca’s Fantastic Winemaker
One of the most sought out winemakers in California is Heidi P. Barrett. She has been dubbed as the “The Wine Diva of Napa” and “The First Lady of Wine”. Heidi was born into a family of influential winemakers so there is no doubt that she also acquired the same trait as her parents. She attended UC Davis and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fermentation Science. Her internships in the German and Austrian wine industries also contributed into her winemaking techniques which she eventually brought back home to California.
Heidi’s first position was at Buehler Vineyards as their resident winemaker when she was only 25. After five years of working for Buehler, she took her services to Dalla Valle Vineyards where she created the Cabernet cult blend wine, “Maya”. In 1992, she then started crafting wines for Screaming Eagle and become widely known for the winery’s eponymous 1992 Cabernet. It set a world record during the 2000 Napa Valley Wine Auction when a 6-litre bottle was sold at a whopping $500,000. The next year, her Cabernet reached a higher offer for $650,000. From then on, Heidi has been working for different wineries such as Amuse Bouche, Revana Family Vineyards, Paradigm Winery, Grace Family Vineyards, Lamborn Family, and, of course, Fantesca Estate & Winery.
It was in 2008 when she took up residency at Fantesca Estate & Winery. While Heidi is known for her Cabernet, she is also well-versed into making other wines. Heidi only makes one Chardonnay and one Spring Mountain Cabernet and they belong to Fantesca’s wine lineup. Because the winery only produces 3,000 cases annually, Heidi’s wines are definitely one of a kind. The 2016 Fantesca Chardonnay has a very clean feel and pure aromas of pear, green apple, and fresh citrus. On the other hand, the 2015 All Great Things “Freedom” Red Blend is a big, dense wine with complex aromas of black cherries, berry compote, vanilla, and fine leather. These two Fantesca wines are both enticing and delicious and held to Heidi P. Barrett’s exacting standards.
Throughout the years, it can be said that Heidi has perfected the art of making wine. She has dedicated her time to make sure that the bottles she is producing will come out great. From the grapes used to the winemaking process, Heidi ensures that she only uses the best. She does not rush and takes her time in crafting wines of her own design. Her patience and perseverance are evident in the finished products. Time and time again, Heidi has proved that she is the master of winemaking.
Aside from Fantesca and other wineries, Heidi has her own line of artful wines called “La Sirena”.
Running a winery is not an easy task. An owner has to be determined and fearless. Love and passion for wine is not enough when starting a very tough business.
The Fantesca Winery & Estate in the Napa Valley region has been in the business since 2004. Its 10-acre vineyard produces some of the best quality of wines in the area. However, it is not just wine that they offer but also extra virgin olive oils from their own olive trees and honey from their own bee hives. None of this would be possible but for the people behind the production. One of the most important people in the Fantesca Winery & Estate is none other than its founder, Duane Hoff.
Duane Hoff is the proprietor of Fantesca Winery & Estate alongside his wife, Susan Hoff. Long before his success in the wine industry, Duane worked as an Assistant Store Manager at Best Buy in 1992 (where he was actually recruited by his wife). Through years of hard work, he eventually become the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy in 1998. In those years, Duane’s development of the company small store initiative allowed them to generate great sales as they entered new markets. All of his hard work paid off when Best Buy gained recognition as one of the Fortune 100 companies.
In 2004, he left Best Buy and, together with his wife, bought a 53-acre parcel with a 10-acre vineyard in the Spring Mountain District to start their new venture, the Fantesca Winery & Estate. This business venture was initiated due in part to the couple’s shared passion for wine. Their prior experience in Best Buy also helped them tremendously in managing the winery.
Duane has become an active part of the community and constantly raises money for educational and leadership opportunities of St. Helena students. Duane maintains an active and dynamic lifestyle by doing triathlons, surfing, and rugby. Just like a great bottle of wine, Duane keeps getting better with age.
As with all businesses, everything starts with a good name. Duane and Susan described wines as the center of every celebration. Thus, they wanted to create wines that have the highest level of quality and collectability. The name Fantesca was derived from one of the characters in the early theatrical performances of Commedia dell’Arte, La Fantesca. She was described as “smart, sexy, and unpretentious” and could always charm the audience. Duane and his wife thought the name was perfect and suitable for what they had envisioned.
Fantesca not only aims to produce the best wines but also to give the best experience to the consumers. A Fantesca wine makes sure that those who drink it will have the same entertaining effect just like a great theatrical performance.
To learn more about Fantesca Estate & Winery and their outstanding people, visit their website at http://fantesca.com or book a private tour of the estate and wine tasting by filling out the form here.
Four wine connoisseurs aimed to pass the wine world’s extremely difficult Master Sommelier examination which was shown in the American documentary movies, ‘Somm’ and ‘Somm: Into the Bottle’. It followed the journey of Dustin Wilson, Ian Cauble, Brian McClintic, and DLynn Proctor and their intense trials in a three-year journey through six countries in hopes to attain the prestigious certification.
Somm changed the lives and careers of these four men. It also uncorked the secretive world of the Master Sommelier examination to the rest of the world. The documentary allowed the subjects, particularly DLynn Proctor, to take their skills to new heights and make an indelible mark in the wine industry.
After the grueling experience in ‘Somm,’ DLynn Proctor continued his studies and then went on to become a winemaking ambassador for mega Australian winemaker, Penfolds. The experience helped him share his knowledge about food and wine through TV show guest appearances, magazine interviews, and traveling to many places for speaking engagements. He also trained with top winemakers in California, Washington, Texas, South Australia, and Italy to broaden his knowledge in winemaking and sensory tasting. Proctor also became an adjunct lecturer at the San Francisco Wine School and also served as a wine show judge at some of the world’s famous universities and wine shows. To add to his growing list of experiences, he had also worked for Michelin-starred chefs, retail/web sales, and fine and rare wine brokerage.
Throughout the years, Proctor was able to use his skills and knowledge as a sommelier and in 2008, he was named as the “Best Sommelier in America” by Wines & Spirits Magazine. In the same year and in 2009, he also became a finalist in The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Société Mondiale du Vin ‘Best Sommelier in America Competition’. By 2011, Proctor had been named to the National RUDD scholars. This opened doors for Proctor as he had been featured in many publications such as Huffington Post and The New York Times and in wine enthusiast websites such as Decanter and Wine Spectator.
In 2014, Proctor was also named ‘Top 40 under 40’ in Wine Enthusiasts.
With 15 years of experience under his belt, DLynn Proctor has become a prominent figure in the beverage and hospitality industry. Armed with overflowing capability, he came to Fantesca Estate & Winery with an extensive knowledge of sales, marketing, and strategy and became the winery’s director in 2018.
Fantesca’s proprietor, Duane Hoff, believes Proctor will greatly help in marketing their wines and expanding the winery’s relationships due to the latter’s former experience of representing upscale brands in the world. As the director of Fantesca, Proctor’s role is not only to introduce Fantesca wines to enthusiasts but also to give winemaking insights and tasting notes. This gives people a more personal experience when they are able to taste Fantesca’s limited production wines.
DLynn Proctor is very passionate about what he does and has proven to be an integral part of Fantesca. Whatever capacity Proctor serves, he is able to deliver results with professionalism and charm. Fantesca is surely lucky to have Proctor in the team and have him tell its own story.
Come and experience Fantesca’s limited production wines and have a taste of the fun and whimsical notes delivered by the great team behind them.
In a male-dominated industry, there are still women winemakers who are exceeding expectations.
In a study about women winemakers in California, it was shown that 10% of the 4,000+ wineries in the state are spearheaded by a woman winemaker. Historically, women usually only became winemakers when their spouses died and they had to take over the business. The first recognized woman winemaker in California was Hannah Weinberger from Napa Valley in 1882, followed by Josephine Tychson. These two women took over their spouses’ wineries upon their deaths.
But during the 1960s, things began to change for women winemakers. The first woman winemaker in the modern era was Mary Ann Graf who pioneered the reemergence of women in the wine industry. From then on, many women have started to make names for themselves.
The same study has shown that the Napa Valley region has the highest percentage of women winemakers in the whole state of California with 14%. As time goes by, the number is increasing which only shows that gender is not a defining factor in the winemaking industry.
The Napa Valley region is one of the most famous wine regions. Many wineries are located in the area that offer different varieties of wine. There are also a lot of women winemakers and winery owners that have already become household names. These trailblazers have produced high quality wines which made waves among wine enthusiasts.
Some notable women winemakers in Napa are Helen Keplinger of Keplinger Wines, Kathryn Walt Hall of Hall Wines, Stephanie Putnam of Raymond Vineyards, Nicole Hitchcock of J Vineyards & Winery, and Jamie Dowell of Round Pound. But there is one other female winemaker in Napa who is well-respected by wine enthusiasts and her name is Heidi P. Barrett.
Heidi P. Barrett is arguably one of the most celebrated and in-demand winemakers today. She is known for her cult wines, thus earning her the titles of “The Wine Diva of Napa Valley” and “The Diva of Cult Wine.” Winemaking had always been in her blood as her father, Dick Peterson, was a renowned winemaker and her artistic techniques came from her artist mother, Diane. Her degree in Fermentation Science at UC Davis also aided in her knowledge of winemaking.
Heidi started working at Buehler Vineyards at age 25 where she garnered attention for improving their wines. After five years, she became an independent winemaker and became a consultant for Dalla Valle Vineyards where she earned her first two 100-point scores from Robert Parker for her Cabernet blend cult wine, “Maya”.
Her next big achievement in her career was when she crafted another Cabernet blend for Screaming Eagle which earned her another two 100-point scores for her 1992 and 1997 vintages. In the 2000 Napa Valley Wine Auction, Barrett’s 6-liter 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet set the record of highest price paid for a single wine at $500,000 which also had a vertical offering for $650,000 in the following year.
Since then, Heidi had worked for multiple wineries such as Amuse Bouche, Paradigm Winery, Revana Family, Jones Family Vineyards, Barbour Vineyards, and Lamborn Family. She also has her own label, “La Sirena” and “Barrett and Barrett”.
In 2008, Heidi started working for Fantesca Estate & Winery. For Fantesca, she has crafted her only Chardonnay and also her only Spring Mountain Cabernet, “Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.” These offerings were carefully crafted and laced with her own artistry which make them unique. She has also produced a red blend called “All Great Things.”
Throughout all the years of her winemaking, Heidi has already mastered her techniques which set apart her wines from others. Although largely known for her Cabernets, she only proved she could stand out in others, too.
Winemaking is not a simple or easy thing to do. It requires attention and careful techniques to produce a great quality wine. Throughout the years, wine has gained popularity and became a symbol of living a fine life. As the number of enthusiasts grow, the process of making wines has also evolved over time. Aside from making sure that the bottles produced are of good quality, winemakers have also given their personal touches in each of their wines to set it apart from the others.
The winemaking industry has been dominated by males but some women have risen in the ranks and made their mark. One of these notable women and arguably California’s most famous cult winemaker is Heidi P. Barrett.
Raised by a renowned winemaker and an artist, it is not surprising that Heidi P. Barrett was destined to become a skillful winemaker. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Fermentation Science and interned in various wineries in Germany and Australia. She then worked at Buehler Vineyards at the age of 25 and improved their wines which garnered her a lot of critical attention. After working for five years at Buehler, Heidi became an independent winemaker consultant and was hired by Dalla Valle Vineyards where she earned her first two 100 points for the 1992 and 1993 vintages of the Cabernet blend, “Maya”.
With the success at Dalla Valle, Heidi moved on to work at Screaming Eagle where she earned another two 100-point scores for the 1992 and 1997 vintages. This was where her career really took off. At the Napa Valley Wine Auction of 2000, a 6-liter bottle of her 1992 vintage was sold at a hefty price of $500,000. The following year, her wine had a vertical offering of $650,000.
Heidi continued to work for other wineries such as Paradigm, Grace Family Vineyards, Amuse Bouche, Lamborn Family, Showket Vineyards, Vineyard 29, and Fantesca Estate & Winery. She also has her own label, “La Sirena”, and another with her husband, “Barrett and Barrett.”
Heidi is also known as “The First Lady of Wine”, “The Queen of Cult Cabernet”, and “The Cult Diva of Wine”.
In an interview with Wines & Vines, Heidi revealed that she does not get involved in the vineyards but she discusses with vineyard managers about vines in order to have an idea what steps she needs to do. Then, she only picks a certain quality of grapes that show off the wine region’s flavors.
For every wine she makes, Heidi follows a process. She doesn’t perform extended maceration which is why she presses the grapes before they go dry. This allows her to get the maximum flavor without the excessive, bitter tannins. When it comes to oak, Heidi wants the wine to age perfectly so she does not use micro-oxygenation which pre-ages a wine. In order to make sure that her winemaking process is still on track, she tastes the concoction constantly.
Heidi believes that wines should show off the purity of the fruit. She sticks to the classic winemaking techniques and only needs high quality grapes to make a great bottle of wine.
As Fantesca Estate & Winery’s head winemaker since 2008, Heidi has crafted three wines in the line-up: her only Chardonnay, a Spring Mountain Cabernet, and a red blend. These are limited production wines which make them one-of-a-kind offerings.
The Chardonnay has a clean and citrusy aroma with a crisp acidity; the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark berry aroma with dense, rich flavors; and the All Great Things Red Blend has an aroma of fine leather, vanilla, berry compote, and black cherries with a dynamic flavor.
Experience Heidi’s Fantesca wines by booking a private tour and tasting. Once you get a taste, you will surely realize why Heidi Barrett is known as The First Lady of Wine.
Napa Valley is famously known as one of the best wine regions in the world. Acres of vineyards are sprawled all over the area with wineries tending to them. Wine enthusiasts love to take winery tours in Napa Valley and taste the best wines that they offer. However, Napa is not just for winery tours and tastings. It also has other sights to see and things to do besides drinking wine.
Let’s say you have visited all the wineries on your list or are just looking for something to peak your interest. What else can you do in Napa to pass the time?
Things to do in Napa
Napa Valley is not just all about wines. Whether you love food, art, music, or relaxation, the valley has something in store for you. If you plan on visiting, here are some places and activities that you might want to include in your itinerary after going on a winery tour:
These are only some of the things you can do after having a wine tour in the Napa Valley. The place offers so much more which will make your visit worth it. It is highly recommended that you hire a professional driver to help you get around Napa Valley. This makes it so much easier to visit other establishments.
When you book a winery tour with Fantesca Estate and Winery, your personal estate hosts will gladly recommend a list of accredited restaurants, tour companies, resorts, and even other wineries after your tour. This will make your Napa Valley visit unforgettable and enjoyable.
Going on a winery tour is a great way to learn more about wines, especially if you are a beginner wine drinker. The winery staff will show how grapes are grown and harvested in the vineyard, how a wine is produced and oaked in barrels in a cave, and the finished product which you have the luxury to taste.
Napa Valley is one of the most popular wine regions in the world with many wineries scattered in the area. Cabernet Sauvignon is the bread and butter of Napa, although there are also other wines that have been making names. This wine region is also a favorite when it comes to winery tours. Visitors have been flocking to Napa Valley in order to taste everything it has to offer.
But before you go on a winery tour in Napa Valley, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Preparing to go to Napa
You may be looking forward to touring Napa wineries and can’t wait to go on one. Who wouldn’t be excited to experience a full winery tour, right? However, before you can actually do that, you need to do the following first and foremost:
When you have checked everything on that list, you are now ready to go on your desired Napa winery tour.
Fantesca Private Tour and Tasting
One of the finest wineries in Napa Valley is Fantesca Estate and Winery. They offer a private tour of their vineyard and tasting of their limited, small-production wines. If you book an appointment, you will get the chance to taste Heidi P. Barrett’s one-of-a-kind, high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay while enjoying the majestic view of Spring Mountain. You will also have the chance to see and savor the aromas of French oak barrels in their mountainside cave. A personal estate host will assist the guests and make sure that everyone will have a fantastic winery tour.
To book or request for a private tour and tasting, complete this form. If you plan to reserve for eight or more persons, call Fantesca Estate and Winery directly at 707.968.9229.
The Napa Valley is one of the most well-known winemaking regions in the world. Many wineries can be found in the area, all of them exhibiting different specialties but most especially, Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you are a wine enthusiast or if you would like to know more about Napa Valley wines, wineries usually offer tours and tastings of their collection. This allows people to have first-hand experience of discerning the tastes and aromas of different wines. For first-time visitors, Napa Valley can be quite overwhelming due to the number of wineries that are located in the area. You might ask, where should you go first and what do you do when you’re there?
In this article, we will give you some tips when it comes to wine tasting in Napa.
Before Going to Napa
During Wine Tasting
Now that you have some tips, the only thing left to do is to book that wine tasting appointment. Fantesca offers a private tour and tasting of their estate and winery wherein people can experience how their wines are made. See how grapes are grown and chosen in the vineyard, smell and savor the aromas of French oak barrels situated in their mountainside cave and, finally, taste the high-quality wines.
Exploring the vast estate and tasting limited-availability wines made by a world-class winemaker while overlooking the majestic view of the Spring Mountain is surely a great experience to wine enthusiasts. If you wish to visit Fantesca Estate and Winery, you should book an appointment here.
Enjoy a fantastic wine-tasting experience!
If you are a wine lover, whether a beginner or experienced, you should visit wineries to learn more about the drink. Napa Valley is one of the popular winemaking regions in the world. Many wineries can be found in such a small area which makes it easier to get around and explore them all.
Napa wineries are proud to show their products and have people taste them. There is a different feel when drinking wine at the place where it was crafted. Winery staff also love to entertain the guests and will gladly answer any questions they might have.
But before you actually go to a Napa winery, there are some things that you should know and do.
Now that you know what to do, you are now ready to prepare for your Napa winery tour!
If you still don’t have an idea on where to go, Fantesca Estate and Winery is a good choice. You will get to see not only a 10-acre vineyard but also the olive trees and beehives that produces high-quality olive oils and honey, respectively. You can also enjoy the majestic view of Spring Mountain and the entire estate vineyard on a private deck. Visiting Fantesca is going to be worth it so request an appointment now by clicking on this link.
Napa Valley is quite well-known for the production of wines and because the vineyards are biodynamic, the bees in wineries also help in the production of honey. However, there is another Napa Valley product which is definitely a must-have: olive oil.
Napa Valley has already been producing olive oils since the early 1990s and has been dubbed as liquid gold. Since then, olive oils have been widely used by a growing number of people for lots of things such as cooking. In Napa, olive trees are usually planted at the end of the rows of grape vines. They are considered as one indicator of a good vineyard along with the presence of bees.
Olives and Grapes
A lot of growers would say that Napa Valley is one of the best regions to grow olive trees and grapes. High-quality wines and olive oils are a testament to that. But the question is, how do they achieve that?
The reason is because of Napa Valley’s climate and the soil. The dry Mediterranean type of climate of Napa is ideal for the growing of not just grapes, but also olive trees. Mornings tend to be sunny and warm followed by cool evenings. This transition allows the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly. On the other hand, the structure and composition of the soil also affects the quality of the fruits. In Napa Valley, there are 100 different soil variations due to the region’s tectonic plate movements and volcanic activities in the course of history. The valley floors are deeper and more fertile while hillsides have rocky soils.
Because of the great combination of weather conditions and soil composition, wineries have chosen to grow both grapes and olives in their vineyards and estates. Aside from wine tasting, visitors also try olive oil tasting although not all wineries have that option.
As a primary olive oil producer, California has been producing 99% of the olive oil within the United States.
Regular olive oil vs. extra virgin olive oil
A lot of people do not know the difference between a regular olive oil and an extra virgin olive oil. When an olive oil is referred to as “extra virgin”, it means that it is processed and developed in the purest, high-quality method. In this process, the olives which are used are pure and cold-pressed. Extra virgin olive oils also needed to pass through agencies such as the California Olive Oil Council in order to verify that they are truly made with only high-quality ingredients.
Olive oils with names other than regular or extra virgin are made with a combination of standard and cold-pressed olives.
The Olive trees of Fantesca
The Arbequina trees grow well during long, hot dry summers but they are still resistant to frost and pests. The Mission trees are known to be the most resistant to cold and the Manzanilla trees, which originated from Sevilla, Spain, is considered to be one of the most abundant olives and commonly used for stuffing. Manzanilla olives are also found on a toothpick when serving martinis.
Fantesca produces two special, hand-bottled extra virgin olive oils: the Arbequina and Mission-Man, a combination of olives from both Mission and Manzanilla trees.
If you wish to know more about Fantesca’s olive oils and have a tasting session, contact us here to book an appointment!