Meet the Team – 10 Questions with Claire

Welcome to our monthly blog series, Meet the Folded Hills Team, and our October 2023 edition. This is 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 Claire Hartnell, Event Coordinator here at Folded Hills.

FH: Hi Claire! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us for our Meet the Folded Hills Team series. Let’s find out a little more about you. Where did you grow up?

CH: Outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

FH:  When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

CH: A veterinarian. I had always had animals growing up, and the drive to ensure they were happy and healthy was super inherent.

FH: What is something about you that most people don’t know?

CH: I managed a hunter/jumper horse barn for 10 years on the East Coast. It was some of the most rewarding work physically, mentally, and emotionally I had gone through, and it shaped a lot of who I am today.

FH: What were you into in high school?

CH:  I spent all four years participating in different parts of the theater program we had. My favorite year was set design and lighting for entire productions.

FH: Where is your favorite place to be?

CH: Out in nature. After living in San Luis Obispo for a few years with Big Sur as my backyard, I found that being in the woods, traveling over creek crossings and single track hiking trails to be more like home than anything else I had experienced. 

FH: What is one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

CH: You’re not for everybody. And that’s more than okay!

FH: What is your favorite movie?

CH: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. What a beautifully absurd film with really great messaging! I cry every time. 

FH: What is something that is top on your bucket list?

CH: To drive a classic car around the south of France for a few months. 

FH: How did you first get into wine?

CH: I actually started in the beer industry back in Boston. After moving to California in 2019, I took a long time looking for the right brewery I wanted to be a part of, then I fell in love with the wine industry, from its culture to its history in Santa Barbara County. I started working in Los Olivos and fell in love with the community and romance of winemaking, and the rest is history…

FH: Last but not least, what is your favorite Folded Hills wine, and can you share a recipe that you love to pair with it?

CH: 2021 Estate Grenache, and I love to pair it with osso buco. Here is a great recipe… 

Thanks Claire! This pairing sounds amazing.

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.

Claire’s Favorite Pairing Recipe –
Classic Italian Osso Buco with a Secret Ingredient: Pancetta!

Pair with our award-winning 2021 Estate Grenache














Ingredients for the Osso Buco:

4 oz. pancetta, diced into ¼ inch cubes (do not substitute bacon for the pancetta in this recipe. Pancetta isn’t smoked, but bacon is. Bacon’s smoky flavor will overpower this dish.)
2 ½ to 3 pounds veal shanks (4 to 6 pieces 2 to 3 inches thick)
½ cup diced carrot (¼ inch dice)
½ cup diced celery (¼ inch dice)
1 medium onion (¼ inch dice)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (about 4 cloves)
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 cup dry white wine
1 to 2 cups chicken or veal stock
Flour for dusting the meat before browning
Salt and pepper

  Ingredients for the Gremolata:

2 tablespoons Italian parsley
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Brown the pancetta:
    • Heat a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
    • Add pancetta to pan and cook, stirring occasionally.
    • When the pancetta is crispy and most of the fat has rendered (about 5 minutes of cooking), remove the pancetta to a plate covered with some paper towel and set aside.
    • If necessary, drain off all but two tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
  • Dredge the shanks in flour and brown in pan:
    • Place the flour in a shallow bowl or deep plate.
    • Season the veal shank well with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal shanks with some flour, shake off any excess, and add the meat to the hot fat in the pan.
    • Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the shanks on each side until well browned (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the shanks to a plate, and set aside.
  • Sauté the onions, carrots, celery:
    • Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the Dutch oven. Cook the onion mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes) and toss in the garlic and thyme.
    • Continue cooking until the vegetables just begin to brown (about 10 minutes).
  • Return the shanks to pan, add wine and stock:
    • Add the shanks and the pancetta back to the pan. Pour in the wine and then add enough stock to come a little more than halfway up the sides of the shanks.
    • Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and put it in the oven to cook until the meat is tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Make the gremolata:
    • Combine the gremolata ingredients, place in a separate small serving dish.
  • Serve on top of risotto or polenta. Sprinkle with gremolata, and enjoy!

Click on the image below to download a printable copy of Claire’s favorite Classic Italian Osso Buco.