Vintner, Influencer, and Entrepreneur

Karen Crouse

My husband, Greg and I have lived in the Napa Valley for almost 30 years. We are deeply connected to the Napa Valley Community.

My 16-year career with American Express offered me the privilege of working with the many wineries, restaurants, hotels and retailers throughout the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. These business relationships evolved into friendships of 20+ years. I worked with my American Express Clients in sales, marketing, PR, branding and Six Sigma capacities. These skills have served me well in starting and running my own businesses.

When we purchased our vineyard in 2007, I became one of a handful of female grape growers in the Napa Valley. My corporation, Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards is the only company offering Mount Veeder Cab for individuals’ private cellars.

My passions include food & wine, entertaining, cooking, nature, Pilates, home décor/renovation…and living and loving life in the beautiful Napa Valley.

Winemaker

Jeff Fontanella

Jeff Fontanella, our winemaker, has been making wine in Napa Valley for over 10 years. A graduate of the University of California at Davis he holds a degree in Viticulture and Enology. Jeff began his winemaking career working in the cellars of Opus One and ZD. Soon after, he took a position at one of Napa’s great cult wineries, Saddleback Cellars. At Saddleback Jeff sharpened his winemaking skills under the tutelage of Nils Venge, whom Robert Parker named one of the 20 most influential winemakers in the world. While challenged with the task of producing wines from 13 different varietals, Jeff was able to display his versatility as a winemaker, matching different winemaking techniques with specific vineyards in order to achieve the wines full potential.

Throughout his career, Jeff has crafted wines that have received several 90+ point ratings from Robert Parker, the Wine Spectator, and the Wine Enthusiast. He was featured as one of “The Next Napa Superstars” by Vinography.com at the 2008 Aspen Food and Wine Classic. His wines made a repeat visit at the 2009 Food and Wine Classic, when the Fontanella Family Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon was highlighted.