Artisan Winemaking

The artisan approach Cima Collina applies in the vineyard also translates to the cellar. Winemaker Annette Hoff and her cellar crew use as little automation in the winemaking process as possible. Grapes are hand-sorted as they come into the winery, all red fermentations are punched-down by hand, and white wines are barrel fermented in very cool temperatures to ensure delicacy and complexity. Cima Collina’s small production enables Annette to become familiar with each barrel and, as a result, create blends barrel-by-barrel so that each wine develops its own distinct, complex personality.
Annette Hoff Danzer - Winemaker, Cima Collina Winery, Carmel Valley Village

Annette’s Background in Winemaking

NAPA — Annette has worked in wine production since 1994 and her experience has spanned through the cellars of Klein Family Vintners, Sterling and most notably Saintsbury. “Everything at Saintsbury was about producing world class Pinot Noir with integrity and with a devotion to the grapes,” says Annette. “I soaked it up and realized Pinot would be the varietal around which I wanted to shape my career.”

NEW ZEALAND — In 1998 Annette left for New Zealand with a desire to explore that country’s wine production and its approach to Pinot Noir. There she was what she termed a “peddling cellar rat,” often riding around the Martinborough region working with various wineries. That lasted a few months until she returned to America to become the Pinot Noir winemaker at Estancia Winery in Monterey County.

MONTEREY — Monterey immediately reminded her of New Zealand where an intense maritime climate dominates the landscape. The position gave her the opportunity to apply everything she had learned in Napa and of New Zealand’s cool climate wine production. In 2000, Annette was ready to strike out on her own, becoming a consultant to many small producers in the Monterey area.

CIMA COLLINA — In 2004, Annette was convinced to quit her consulting work and create a new winery, Cima Collina. She saw it as an opportunity to play a role in defining quality in an emerging wine region. Today, Annette oversees the day-to-day management of the winery as well as making the wine. She works closely with growers, can most often be found in the cellar and vineyards, and also oversees sales and marketing.