We’ve now seen four seasons of Faust Haus. A year of watching the landscape surrounding our 1878 Victorian home on the hill transform from vibrant greens and reds to gold, giving way to a wintry spareness. A year of hosting guests for tastings and to enjoy our building’s design-rich spaces and Prohibition-era cellar—not to mention our glorious views of Mount Saint Helena. This fulfills our vision that Faust Haus, thirty minutes north of our Coombsville vineyard, should be a place to share our wines, and also our passion for others deeply devoted to their craft—as a cultural hub for workshops, exhibits and other community gatherings.
This modern reinterpretation of a historical landmark has proven the ideal home for the Pact Society—our community of new and long-standing friends of Faust who enjoy priority access to limited releases and invitations to curated events. It is also a place to honor and interact with our Faust collaborators—all wine enthusiasts, of course, but also masters of their craft, passionate about what they do and interested in sharing their stories, methods and work with others. The Pact Society allows our members to take part in their obsessions, to learn about new projects and enjoy access to Faust’s limited-production wines.
Over 2021, Faust Haus hosted several such gatherings that were open to Pact Society members. Tiny Atlas Quarterly founder Emily Nathan shared advice for travel photography and memory-keeping from her new book, My Tiny Atlas. Mikael Kennedy of King Kennedy Rugs and Tim Marvin, founder of GLOR coats, turned the second floor of Faust Haus into a bazaar of exquisite treasures, from 100-year-old Persian rugs to recycled Moroccan blankets hand-crafted into French-style chore coats. On other occasions, photographer Lindsey Ross—our first artist-in-residence—captured portraits of our members and guests, and spoke about her process of wet plate collodion photography. Chef Kevin O’Connor, an outdoorsman who favors cooking seasonal ingredients over an open fire, catered our Holiday Haus.
Over a few memorable days last spring, our Pact Weekend connected a brotherhood of East Coast menswear personalities and friends with the Napa Valley wine world. The event featured designer trunk shows and several panels. Angel Ramos, founder of 18th Amendment, Jake Mueser of bespoke brand J.Mueser, and Fred Castleberry of menswear atelier, F.E. Castleberry, presided over a panel on the return to dressing up, moderated by fashion writer Zach Weiss. Men’s lifestyle personalities and authors, Matt Hranek and David Coggins, launched their new books, The Negroni: A Love Affair With a Classic Cocktail and The Optimist: A Case for the Flyfishing Life, with a talk-back and signing (fueled by Negronis, of course), while the designers displayed their lines upstairs. The weekend ended with a black-tie cocktail party where members mingled with the collaborators and some of our Napa winemaking community, including Cristina and Lee Hudson of Hudson wineries, Andy Erickson and Annie Favia of Favia and Leviathan, Cervantes Family Vineyards’ Xavier Cervantes and Maria and Rob Sinskey from Robert Sinskey Vineyards—while sharing some of our favorite vintages of Faust and The Pact.
Faust Haus’ 2022 lineup promises to draw a similarly committed group of creatives, including British artist-in-residence, Joe Henry Baker, who deploys watercolor, dyes and bleach to playful effect, and an evening of craft cocktails co-hosted by Charleston restaurateur and Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. founder, Brooks Reitz, and designer Erin Reitz, with a trunk show of her first solo collection. And, of course, there’s our Pact Members’ 2019 release in April, hosted by Estate Director Jen Beloz and Winemaker David Jelinek, for the debut of our flagship estate Cabernet Sauvignon. We look forward to welcoming you to our Haus this year!
In the summer of 2020, our team was scattered across the valley, many unable to return to work in person. Meanwhile, the nation was embroiled in a searching conversation about community and identity. “It felt like we needed to do something to bring our team together, find common ground,” recalls Estate Director Rodrigo Soto.
A community garden became the literal—and timely—answer. An acre-and-a-half plot of rich clay soil near a babbling stream at the Faust Vineyard in Coombsville would make the perfect spot. Estate Viticulturist Nicolette Thompson spearheaded the effort with designs for fifteen 50-foot beds and an irrigation system. Practiced at growing plants from seed, Thompson, together with a growing roster of volunteers, planted tomatoes, chilies, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, melon, herbs, and—a popular favorite—a profusion of sunflowers and zinnias.
Work in the garden is voluntary, but it has made many converts, as teams from across our wineries—Quintessa, Faust and Flowers—and departments from marketing to winemaking, dig and plant side by side. Employees bring their families and dogs, decompress after work and grow better acquainted. This year, the team will expand the number and size of beds and upgrade the social area with shaded tables and games so employees can mix and linger. There are also plans for dinners, skill-growing workshops and, of course, a full-blown pumpkin patch for fall. Says Soto, “We want to create our own little celebratory moments.”