Click a show title or use the red Streampad player at the bottom of our frame to listen now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

21 May, 2018 - A Tribute to War Veterans for Memorial Day

In tonight's show, Slow Living Radio pays tribute to War Veterans as we draw near to Memorial Day. We first welcome John Moynier, a veteran who is now making Purple Heart Wine, a winery that donates it's proceeds to the needs of military men, women and families.

Next, we are delighted to welcome Dan McCabe who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was taken captive by the Germans. You will be mesmerised by his fascinating story.

John Moynier

Memorial Day is quickly approaching, and Americans everywhere are preparing for their first outdoor BBQ of the year. Purple Heart Sonoma County Red 2015, a bold, spicy California red wine is perfectly suited for the food and function of this special holiday as it supports the Purple Heart Foundation, helping war veterans.
The project’s partner, the Purple Heart Foundation, is a 60 year-old organization dedicated to serving the unmet needs of military men, women, and families. Both Purple Heart Wines and the Purple Heart Foundation firmly believe that transitioning from the battlefield to the home front has never been more difficult, and every dollar donated makes a difference in the lives of our men and women in uniform – yesterday, today and tomorrow. To date, Purple Heart Wines has donated $60k to the eponymous foundation.

About John Moynier

A winemaker for 41 years, out of which 32 have been with C. Mondavi & Family, Purple Heart Wines winemaker John Moynier embodies the term veteran in several ways. Originally hailing from Bakersfield, CA, John made his way to the Napa Valley in the 1970’s, following a career in the military and a degree at U.C. Davis.

For Moynier, joining the military seemed like the most natural career path, as his father was a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel. When he graduated high school in 1965, he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps in a tumultuous time in American history, so he put college on hold and enlisted.

From 1968-1970, he served in Oklahoma as a Sentry Dog Handler, training military dogs to detect danger and keeping his fellow soldiers safe. Following his time in Oklahoma, Moynier was reassigned to Guam in 1970 as a Squadron Training NCO where he trained soldiers and dogs to work together in combat situations and during the night when enemies and bombs are more difficult to pinpoint. John completed his active service in February 1972 at Vandenburg AFB, CA as a Resource Protection Supervisor (NCO).

When he returned from military service in 1972, Moynier enrolled in courses at U.C. Davis in 1973 to be a veterinarian. However, he was always interested in wine and decided to take advantage of U.C. Davis’ reputable viticulture/enology program and switched his major to fermentation science. He obtained his BS in 1975.

His first experience in a cellar was at Mission Bell winery before joining Italian Swiss Colony, Asti as Senior Winemaker. He then joined C. Mondavi & Family in 1985 and has been the winemaker there ever since.

John has been involved in the PHW project since 2014 when it was merely an idea. John is thrilled to be a part of Purple Heart; he feels that working with this brand will cap off his career as a winemaker. Coming from a military upbringing and background, he deeply believes in Purple Heart Wines and the cause.


Dan and his wife in 1946

Dan McCabe
War Veteran

This interview was originally published in the December 2017 issue of World War II magazine. 

Born in 1925 in Niagra Falls, New York, Dan McCabe grew up in Rochester and Buffalo, and returned there after the war as an iron worker until 1948, when he came west to Vallejo, California, to work at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. McCabe enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was 18 and served overseas for six months and one day in 1944-45. He entered combat in the midst of the Battle of the Bulge and reached the Rhine River six days before—and 50 miles north—of the Remagen crossing. There his war took a turn he hadn’t expected.

How did your combat career begin?

I had gone overseas to England in 1944 with the 69th Infantry Division, but on Christmas morning, the sergeant woke us up, saying that 25 guys from each platoon were going to the front that afternoon as replacements. They couldn’t fly us because the weather was bad, so we had to go by boat, trucks, and trains. The 25 men from my platoon had gone as a group and they said we would stick together, but we were scattered like seeds when we got to the front in Belgium. 

To which outfit were you scattered?

On New Year’s Eve, I ended up with E Company of the 331st Infantry Regiment of the 83rd Infantry Division. I heard my first German gunshots that day, and I was being shot at on New Year’s Day 1945.

Were you returning fire?

Oh yeah, as much as we could. We went straight into the Battle of the Bulge. I was on the frontlines until January 19, when I was sent back to a little field hospital. I wasn’t injured, but I had a temperature of over 100, and had lost my voice. 

You also had severe frostbite. 

I still have to wear compression socks. I didn’t like that they kept picking me for those damned patrols, but in thinking about it later, without moving like that, I might have lost my legs. A lot of the fellows did. The cold still bothers me. Getting out of the snow is part of the reason I left New York State.

On January 22, three days after you were pulled out, the 83rd Division itself was pulled out of the line for rehabilitation and training. 

We were right on the edge of Belgium and Holland, which is where we were reformed again. I remember that while we were camped at a little farm, just before going into Germany, I would wake up at the crack of dawn to the sound of someone, somewhere in the camp, singing that old country song that goes “I called and I called, and nobody answered.” 

Were you there when the 83rd captured Neuss on the west side of the Rhine?

Our regiment was the first to reach the river. Two platoons from E Company went out on a night attack, just before midnight on the first of March. The next day at about 4 a.m., as we crossed the Erft Canal [about 1,000 yards from the Rhine], we were fired on from a long warehouse building across a big open field. Our two platoons attacked across this field, got through the barbed-wire entanglement, and up into the building. We captured a bunch of Germans and held part of the building for five or six hours until we ran out of ammunition. 

What then?

We were surrounded, so the company commander ordered us to destroy our weapons. I said that I didn’t want to break up my rifle [laughs]—but he said we don’t want the Germans to use it against us. There were around 20 of us in the group that was captured. I had never considered being captured; I thought about maybe losing arms or legs or eyes, but never about being interned. I remembered newsreels of bank robbers being imprisoned. I felt like a criminal [laughs].

Now you were captives of the same Germans who had been your prisoners.

There was one of the fellows we had taken prisoner earlier who I had patted down for weapons. After I was captured, he came back and patted me down. “First me,” he said in English. “Now you.” I told him, “Well, that’s the way it goes.” 

What did the Germans do with you?

They escorted us down the river and across the big bridge into Düsseldorf. Then they blew up the bridge. We were put on a train and taken to Stalag XII-A outside Limburg. In late March, after a couple of weeks, they took us out in the middle of the night and put us into boxcars. One of the prisoners said these cars were called “forty-and-eights” because they could load 40 troops or eight horses into them. 

Where did you go then?

At the crack of dawn, the train started moving, and had made it about two miles when in came American P-51s and P-47s to strafe and bomb the train. This was as far as the train could go, so it just stopped. We stayed in that car all day and into the evening before they took us out. We marched at night for several days until we arrived at a little village. The Germans guarding us stacked all their guns, left a couple of soldiers to guard them, and went to hang white flags in the buildings. They just turned us loose. The next day, the American VI Corps rolled into town and gave us K-rations and cigarettes.

So you were free at last.

They took us to a U.S. Army field depot and reported that they had dropped off a bunch of prisoners. The next morning, American troops arrived, thinking that they were picking up German prisoners instead of Americans [laughs]. We went from there into field hospitals and eventually to Camp Lucky Strike [the big personnel staging area on the coast of northern France, near the port of Le Havre]. We were put on a Liberty ship that went to Southampton, England, to pick up more people, and then we headed toward New York. We were halfway across the Atlantic when the captain made an announcement that the war had ended—and that a German sub was following us [laughs]. I got back to New York Harbor on May 16, 1945. 

You later searched for some of your fellow POWs.

It took me 60 years before I could talk about any of that stuff. On the 60th anniversary of being captured, I posted a note on the Internet to see if there was anybody left from those I had been with. 

And you found some.

We were reunited in Branson, Missouri, in 2015. The last time we were together had been the day we were liberated. As I was talking with one of the guys, George Landrum, I recalled that farm where we had been camped before going into Germany. When I mentioned waking up to somebody singing “I called and I called, and nobody answered,” George laughed and said, “That was me!” 

Friday, May 18, 2018

14 May, 2018 - Rombauer Winemaker, Richie Allen; United Village Transformation with Claudia Sansone and Rob Hampton

This show pays tribute to Kerner Rombauer, recently deceased, who introduced Napa to a very particular style of wine, especially their renowned Napa. We interview his Director of Viticulture and Winemaking, Richie Allen.  

We also are delighted to welcome back Claudia Sansone and Rob Hampton who are doing amazing work to improve the health, education and agricultural development of a village in Malawi with their United Village Transformation.

Richie Allen, Director of Viticulture & Winemaking

Though he grew up near one of the most famous wine regions of Australia, it was an afternoon spent tasting wine in California that provided Richie’s “aha” moment, steering him into a career in wine. After graduating from the University of Adelaide and gaining practical experience making wine in Australia and New Zealand, Richie returned to California in 2004 to take up a harvest position at Rombauer. Recognizing his talent and drive, we hired Richie full time. He subsequently worked his way up from enologist to assistant winemaker to head winemaker, and he was named Director of Viticulture and Winemaking in 2013.

About Rombauer Winery

When founders Koerner and Joan Rombauer moved their two children, two horses and five dogs to Napa Valley in 1972, they arrived armed with an appreciation for the intimate relationship between food and wine. Their appreciation stemmed from Koerner’s great aunt Irma Rombauer having authored internationally renowned cookbook the Joy of Cooking and his ancestors originating from the winegrowing region of Rheingau, Germany, where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal.

Appreciation bred passion, and Rombauer Vineyards was established in 1980. Thirty-seven years later, the winery remains owned and operated by first-, second- and third-generation members of the family.

The three-level winery was built into the hillside to take advantage of the natural cooling influence and create a cave-like atmosphere for aging wines. Caves were created in the hillside in the 1990s. State of the art equipment includes three optical sorters, basket presses and peristaltic pumps — larger versions of those used to move blood during surgery — which provide for gentle handling of the wine every step of the way. Winery grounds include gardens with over 100 varieties of plants and flowers and whimsical works of art collected by Koerner Rombauer.


Claudia Sansone and Rob Hampton



adapted from the Napa Valley Register story by Paul Franson)

Some people go to Hawaii on vacation, and others take cruises to exotic lands.
Napa couple Dr. Rob Hampton and Claudia Sansone journey to a village in Malawi in sub-Saharan Africa to help the local people.

Image result for rob hampton dalai lama

The co-founders of United Village Transformation (UVT), they along with Kevin and Rebecca Gouveia from Springfield, Virginia, have sparked a social transformation in the remote village as they’ve introduced education, and improved health care, agriculture and better nutrition to the local population.

Claudia Sansone is an expert in food education. She’s written cookbooks and helped produce TV series with chefs and wine experts including Michael Chiarello, Jacques Pepin, Andrea Robinson and Joanne Weir. She ran her own cooking school and has extensive hands-on experience in kitchens around the United States and Europe.
Her husband, Rob Hampton, is a well-known local dentist and artist who donates the proceeds from his sculpture and other art to the nonprofit effort.

The couple have worked in collaboration with domestic Malawian resources to establish a much-needed dental clinic in Daeyang Luke Hospital in Lilongwe and provide ongoing training for nurses and dentists.

Better and healthier food

The effort is also attempting to improve the agriculture and nutrition. “The staple of the local diet is a gruel made from maize,” Sansone explained. The people didn’t really eat vegetables, proteins or fruit regularly.

Sansone showed them how to plant beans at the base of the corn plants as Native Americans did to use the corn stalks to support the nutritious legumes as both grew, for example.

Van Winden’s Nursery donated “shopping bags full” of outdated seeds for the people, noted Sansone, and Tracy Hayward of Perfect Purée in Napa donated fruit trees for the garden.

In 2014 Dothi Village developed the first extensive garden grown during Malawi’s dry season in 40 years. From April through October Malawians experience drought-like conditions with no rainfall.

With instruction from UVT volunteers, Dothi villagers were able to dig a hole deep enough to hit water. They acquired enough fertilizer and manure bought with funds from fundraisers to help support the village food supplies.
They’re also working to improve the quality of drinking water and sanitation.
With more produce available, Sansone taught the people how to prepare nutritious meals, and the children learn how to garden, too.

Based on her cooking expertise, Sansone engaged Solar Cookers Intl. to provide solar cooking kits as a safe alternative to traditional wood-burning methods.

“Smoke inhalation from cooking over an open fire is a serious health issue,” she explained. “Also, women must leave the village to collect firewood, which puts them in harm’s way. We want to keep the women and children safe.”  She also taught them how to cook in an oven, and the village is building one.

A focus on education

At UVT, they believe that “Food is life, and education is the seed.” A major part of their effort is improving education for the children (and adults).

Education is UVT’s major focus. Although elementary education enrollment in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 60 percent in 2000 to 85 percent in 2012, a quarter of all young people are still illiterate.

When Rob and Claudia visited in June 2013 they told the chief of the village that they would like to support a school. They offered to raise funds if his villagers built the structure. He consented.

In the local culture, women do most of the work; men make bricks, and so talent was harnessed to create a school.  When Hampton and Sansone returned in October 2014, the school had brick walls, mud floors and a thatched roof. The villagers found two volunteer teachers and were holding classes for children ages 3 to 5 years of age.
They are now raising money to build a primary school for more than 1,450 children in Dothi Village. The funds will also support the preschool and dental clinic and the school feeding program. They’re hoping to raise $50,000 for this project.

Health and dental care

Hampton and Sansone have been traveling to Malawi, first to establish the first dental clinic at Daeyang Luke Hospital, then on a recurring basis to administer dental care, deliver supplies and otherwise support the ongoing efforts to improve quality of life for the people of Malawi.

Malawi has an average of one dentist for every 1.5 million people. Because of the efforts of Rob, Claudia, UVT and their supporters, the Daeyang Luke Hospital can now train 32 dental nurses from rural villages annually.
In 2014, Hampton was among those honored by the Dalai Lama through the nonprofit organization “Wisdom in Action” with the “Unsung Hero Of Compassion” award for his philanthropic endeavors.

When their friends heard what they were doing, they got involved. What started as a conversation between friends has expanded into an opportunity to develop a repeatable model for modernizing a village in the developing world. Thus “United Village Transformation Foundation” was born.

When they travel to Malawi, they stay in a house at a local hospital, but definitely are in the local environment.

“It changes your life to get involved,” said Sansone.