The western hills of Saint Helena are home to the tiny 10-acre Fantesca Estate & Winery, a serene property with a storied past. While it is now considered one of Napa Valley's premier wineries and the source of some of its finest Cabernet Sauvignon, it was originally the dowry of Caroline Bale when she married Charles Krug in 1860. Wines from the estate were some of the first to receive awards for their quality well over a century ago and the accolades have followed Fantesca into the present day. Their lineup of wines is highlighted by outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and small production Bordeaux blends made by Heidi Barrett, the renowned winemaker dubbed “The First Lady of Wine” by Robert Parker, Jr. thanks to her masterful work in crafting multiple 100-point wines over the years and putting Screaming Eagle on the map with its first perfect wine in 1997.
The Fantesca Estate encompasses just 10 acres of vineyards, nine of which are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon with one acre to Petit Verdot. The vineyard is located on the southeastern side of Spring Mountain with tremendous variations in slope. It is sustainably farmed by Jim Barbour and the full-scale modern winery was built in 2001. The Fantesca cave, rumored to be an abandoned silver mine, stretches 280 feet beneath a ridge of Spring Mountain and offers spectacular storage and aging capacities for their wines each year. The portfolio has expanded to now include a Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to give Fantesca a broad range of wines that are consistently among the best found anywhere in Napa and Sonoma.