Annette Hoff

Annette Hoff

Winemaker (Consulting Winemaker)

The path that took Annette to becoming a winemaker was logical if not circuitous. She first earned a degree in ecology from the University of California, Davis, with plans to go on to veterinary school. However, she got side-tracked by the students majoring in viticulture at UC Davis and never looked back.

She began her winemaking career in Napa Valley under winemaker Bill Dyer at Sterling Vineyards. In 1994, Annette was chosen to oversee the winery’s in-house, experimental winery. She moved south in 1996 to Carneros and Saintsbury Vineyards, where she took the enology position and confirmed what she had always known: Pinot Noir was her first love. Her fondness for that varietal took her to New Zealand to undertake a study of that country’s approach to producing Pinot Noir, working at various wineries in a freelance fashion.

After only a few months, Estancia invited Annette to become the winery’s Pinot Noir winemaker in Monterey. She headed back to the States, where she discovered a region she became convinced could be a Pinot Noir and winemaking heaven. In 2004, Richard Lumpkin went looking for a winemaker as passionate about the Monterey wine region as he had become. He found Annette and asked her to manage Cima Collina and make the wines. It was the chance to apply her knowledge of winemaking and enthusiasm for artisan wines from the ground up. Annette released her first Cima Collina wines in 2005 as founding winemaker and operations manager and remained as its winemaker until June, 2020. She then joined Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, a position she held until the end of 2021.

Among her interests outside of the winery, Annette is a Licensed Apprentice Falconer.