Great winemaking is a lengthy string of decisions, each choice impacting the quality and character of the wine. These decisions must be executed by a team committed to making the best wines they are capable of, and willing to get their hands dirty and grind it out in the cellar daily. We are grateful for the care and attention to detail of our production team, and are proud to have them oversee the tanks and equipment necessary to ferment, barrel and care for Fantesca’s wines.
Fantesca Estate & Winery is home to about 70 olive trees of three different varietals. Every other year, we produce and hand-bottle two very special extra virgin olive oils — our Arbequina and our “Mission-Man,” featuring olive oil from both Mission and Manzanilla trees on the property.
Arbequina trees are highly adaptable and thrive in long, hot, dry summers. However, they are still frost-hardy and pest-resistant — therefore fitting right into our climate here on Spring Mountain.
The Manzanilla, originating in Sevilla, Spain, is one of the most abundant olives. This variety is commonly used for stuffing, and is oftentimes found on a toothpick gracing a martini glass.
In Spring of 2014, we joined forces with Napa Valley Bee Co. to build a bee colony next to our Cabernet vineyard. Its queen was hatched at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena last Spring and then bred by our beekeeper, Rob. Taking a sustainable approach to beekeeping, Rob and Napa Valley Bee Co. manage the colony with a philosophy of natural selection. The strongest bees will be the most productive, which is why our team does not medicate for mites. Rather, nature decides which bees last through the season.
Today our hive houses 13 frames. Our summer bees live for about six months while winter bees generally last for three, flexing their wing muscles to stay warm. The foraging conditions for bees in the Napa Valley region tend to lead to darker, richer honey — which is exactly what we saw in our first harvest in 2015. After letting our bees build all their own comb, Rob ran our honey through a press and a mesh bag to extract all the good stuff.
We look forward to many bountiful honey harvests to come!