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Field Notes Issue 2

by Joey Wolosz | Published February 20, 2021

February 2021

We are spending much of our wintertime in Tahoe, skiing, enjoying cabin life, and eating fondue. I’m in an alpine frame of mind.

Alpine Flashbacks

I am having flashes of 1989 and my stint on the French-Swiss border as a radio intern for the Lake Geneva affiliate of the Voice of America Radio. This period of my life is when and where I acquired my fondness for the bubbling pot of the Alps. I’ve indulged in fondue every winter since.

My affection is so strong that in November of 2001, my good friend Stan Hornbacher and I came close to a fondue overdose in Interlaken, Switzerland. I sensed trouble when our server clapped his hands together and exclaimed, “Bravo!” after we over-ordered pots of cheese and various accompaniments. The staff hustled to create space for everything by pushing an extra table against ours. We missed our connecting train to Gstaad.

I’m hoping to spread this fondness with my recipe below. Consume in moderation.

Bungalow Update

It has been satisfying to work with my Napa Valley designer Gwyneth McKay and San Francisco-based furniture designer Ted Boerner. We are finalizing the plan details to create a memorable space for individual groups to have tactile and creative experiences.


The Local News is Dead, Long Live The Local News

I’m married to a media mogul.

On February 1st, Jeff launched an online news channel named The Yountvillian. You know he likes to talk, so there will be plenty of content. His budding Omnimedia empire has started with a website, weekly newsletter, and daily posts on social media with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Stay up to date on politics, culture, food, art, and wine in our small town and the neighboring Napa Valley by following him @theyountvillian and sign up for the weekly letter on the website.


New Packaging, Sustainable Practices

I have been making tweaks and changes over the last few months to our packaging. Our glass, cork, capsules, and cardboard have always been fully recyclable.

For years, we have been saving corks from opened bottles and sending them to Cork ReHarvest, a Cork Forest Conservation Alliance program.

Longtime wine club members Sue and Mike Hill brought the needs of the Teacher Resource Center of the North Bay (TRCNB) to our attention last November.

We began collecting the tin foil capsules on our opened bottles and giving them to the TRCNB. They receive $2.50 per pound and use the funds to provide a free classroom supply store. Teachers can shop, at no cost, for supplies they need for their classrooms.

(Lord knows Jeff and I are personally able to make up any deficit with the temporary closings of tasting rooms for these cork and capsule donations!)

Our cardboard boxes and pulp inserts that cradle the bottles come from Gorilla Shipper Products. They are both recyclable and biodegradable.

We have new tissue papers, cardstock covers, stickers, and tape from Noissue. The tissues are compostable and printed with soy ink. The cardstock covers, stickers, and packing tape are all recyclable.


2020 Napa Valley Rosé

This month we released the 2020 Gentleman Farmer Napa Valley Rosé. With colors of pale champagne and pastel pink, this is not only wine for sunshine and summer.

It is a rosé of complexity and texture, making it an exciting winter pairing for your table.

Complimentary shipping on six bottles or more.


Fondue, I’m Fond of You

My ideal après-ski is a warm pot of cheese fondue, crusty bread for dipping, and a chilled bottle of white or rosé by our fireplace. Fondue is both dinner and entertainment. It is convivial and brings friends and family together.

This recipe is traditional, straightforward, and classic. Enjoy with a warm fire and close company.

Cornichons, steamed small potatoes, sliced pears, or sliced apples are all good for dipping in addition to cubed bread.

Accordion optional.