Welcome to our monthly blog series, Meet the Folded Hills Team. A little “get to know you” highlighting one of our fabulous team members each month. We will ask them ten questions, find out their favorite FH wine, and even get one of their favorite recipes to pair with it.
This month we are talking with Andy Busch, co-owner of Folded Hills.
FH: Hi Andy! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us for our February team member focus. Let’s find out a little more about you. First things first…we’d love to know, how did you first get into wine?
AB: I got into the wine world because of this beautiful and bountiful land of Folded Hills. I never dreamed of being a vintner, but this land simply called us to grow grapes and is perfectly suited for the lighter Rhône varietals. I come from a beer and hospitality background, so the hospitality part came naturally, but the wine side has been an incredible journey and learning experience.
FH: Where is your favorite place to be?
AB: The main house at Folded Hills…on the porch, looking down towards the polo field and the backdrop of the Los Padres mountains. It’s so peaceful, and a great place to relax and put my feet up with a glass of wine or a cold beer after working on the ranch and vineyards.
FH: What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
AB: Husband, father, and friend.
FH: Are there any TV shows or movies that you’ve binge-watched recently?
AB: I’m currently watching The Sopranos for the first time. It’s awesome because there’s so much psychological stuff going on, and it’s so raw and authentic. If you haven’t already seen it I would highly recommend it. The acting and writing are incredible.
FH: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why?
AB: I would love to be able to sit down with Ulysses S. Grant. He arguably saved the United States of America, leading us through the Civil War, and then as a two-term President. He led America through post Civil War reconstruction, holding the union together. President Grant was an incredibly modest and humble man throughout. He was a loving family man, loved his troops, was an incredible horseman, and a true leader. I love reading about him and his life and the history we share.
In 1903 my grandfather, August Busch Sr., purchased Grant’s Farm, a historic farm on the outskirts of St. Louis originally owned by Grant. In 1909 my grandfather also purchased a cabin that Grant built in 1855. The cabin was relocated back to Grant’s Farm after being shown at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The Grant’s Farm property became our family’s home, and to this day is one of our most beloved places to be.
FH: What is something about you that most people don’t know?
AB: I’m a pretty big-hearted and sensitive person.
FH: What are the three things you can’t live without?
AB: Family, health, and land.
FH: What is one thing you’ve learned the hard way?
AB: Never give up, always have hope and spiritual wisdom.
FH: Name three things you would want with you if you were stranded on an island.
AB: My beautiful wife Kim, our kids, grandkids, and a great fire starter. But wait, I would NOT want my family to be stranded, so I’ll say fire starter, fishing gear, and a good knife. Wait…no…a satellite phone. Ditch the fishing gear for a satellite phone. I can make fishing gear with the knife. Hell, I don’t know, that’s a hard one.
FH: Haha okay, yes it is a hard one! Last but not least, what is your favorite Folded Hills wine, and can you share a recipe that you love to pair with it?
AB: My favorite wine is our 2019 August Red because the blend of Syrah and Grenache has so much complexity and diversity. When Kim and I go out and aren’t sure what food will be served, August is a great, versatile wine. It pairs great with steak, salmon, Mexican, chicken, and more. I also love that the name represents my father and grandfather, and one of the most important grape-growing months coming into harvest.
I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and one of my favorite things to pair August Red with is our Executive Chef Mark’s famous chocolate pavlova. If you love chocolate and wine, try this, you will love it too.
Thank you Andy. That sounds amazing, we will have to give it a try!
Stay tuned for next month’s Meet the Folded Hills Team – Ten Questions Monthly Blog Series post. Any guesses who it could be? Who would you love to hear from?
‘Till next time! Hope to see you soon.
Andy’s Favorite Pairing Recipe –
Chocolate Pavlova with Local Raspberries and Fresh Whipped Cream
Pair with 2019 August Red
Ingredients for the Toppings:
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups raspberries
1 to 2 oz top-quality dark (bittersweet) chocolate, finely chopped
Ingredients for the Meringue:
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups superfine sugar
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp raspberry vinegar, or red wine vinegar
2 oz chocolate (same used for toppings)
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Beat egg whites until soft shiny peaks form, then beat in sugar one TB at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
- Remove bowl from mixer, sprinkle cocoa and raspberry vinegar, and finally the chopped chocolate over egg whites. Gently fold everything with a rubber spatula until cocoa is thoroughly mixed.
- Mound meringue on to baking sheet. Make a thick fat circle about 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top.
- Put pan in oven and immediately turn oven down to 300º. Cook for about 1 to 1 ¼ hours. When it’s ready it should look crisp and dry on top and sides, but feel squishy and possibly cave a bit in the middle.
- Turn oven off and open door slightly, and let chocolate meringue disc cool completely. This step can be prepared a day before and kept in a cool, dry place.
- To serve, slide cooled meringue on to a large, flat plate. Whip cream till thick but soft, and pile it on top of meringue. Sprinkle raspberries on top of whipped cream. Coarsely grate chocolate so that you get curls. Don’t cover too much of the raspberries with the chocolate, it should be just a light topping.
- Cut into slices and enjoy.
Click on the image below to download a printable copy of Andy’s Favorite Chocolate Pavlova recipe.