The Story of Chelsea Hoff
Chelsea Hoff found inspiration for winemaking at an early age when her parents moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota to St. Helena, California in 2007 as Chelsea was starting high school. Three years prior, Chelsea's parents, Susan & Duane Hoff, founded Fantesca Estate & Winery. The intimate workings of the winery tucked away on Spring Mountain captured Chelsea’s imagination and spirit. Chelsea was enthralled with the winemaking process and the passion required to craft wines made to celebrate life’s best moments.
The spark Chelsea found early on defined who she is today. Her work ethic was ingrained through early mornings in the vineyard before sunrise and hours on the sorting table well after sunset. Days at school were dedicated to learning the complex chemistry behind the science of winemaking. Weekends were spent putting it into practice learning from some of the most accomplished vineyard managers, cellar crews, and winemakers in Napa Valley. When it came time to choose where to attend college, Chelsea decided to stay close to continue her education in winemaking.
Chelsea’s time at UC Davis gave her opportunities to expand her winemaking knowledge. In a wine production class, her peers and professors selected her wines as the best blends in class in both white and red categories. She also landed an internship at a winery in Northern Italy where she spent a summer making wine. Upon graduation, she did a harvest internship at Château Smith Haut Lafitte outside of Bordeaux, France, followed up with another harvest internship in Australia’s Barossa Valley at Charles Melton Wines and returned to California to work under Heidi Barrett at the family’s winery, Fantesca.
With this whirlwind of global harvest work coming to a close, Chelsea is focusing on Fearless Wines, her first wine project under her creative control. With a desire to bring back the winemaking techniques she learned abroad, she started Fearless Wines in 2016. She created Fearless for those who are passionate for their dreams and are fierce in their tenacity for life. Determined to bring unique grape varietals to light in Napa Valley and selling directly to consumers to insure her customers get the best value for their dime, Chelsea challenges the status quo. The inaugural vintage of 2017 Fearless Rosé sold out in less than 100 days.
In addition to Fearless Wines, in 2019 Chelsea co-founded an international wine project called LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) out of Spain to expand her global winemaking presence. Chelsea’s transition to her own wine brand mirrors her personal transition from nomadic globe-trotter to Napa Valley winemaker. But no matter where she is, one thing is for sure: She is setting her own course.