Joli Vin imports
About Joli Vin
Gary Roshke, Founder and Owner
With no wealth of experience in the wine trade, following only a passion for music and guitar playing, Gary probably owes more to former guitar mentor and long-time friend Roger Feuer, for his wine education than anyone else. The a-ha moment might have come around a bottle of Guigal’s 1978 Côte Rôtie, Brune et Blonde, and other exceptional Rhône bottles, enjoyed after a session of trying to unlock the mysteries of the fretboard. Wine remained a passionate hobby until the year 2000, when, fast forward past a rewarding decade cooking in some of the Bay Area’s top kitchens, Gary and Roger decided that what the San Francisco Bay Area needed at the time was not another small plates, Cal-Med restaurant, but rather another importer of small production, artisan wines from Italy and France, and Joli Vin thus was born.
Roger has since moved on and soon after the Joli Vin catalog shifted entirely to French wines. A few more twists and turns in the road and Gary is now residing full-time in the tiny village of Pernand-Vergelesses, in the center of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, trying to stay dry or cool or warm, depending on the season and managing the affairs of Joli Vin, in closer proximity to the expanding playing field of producers all over France. He now enjoys an invaluable collaboration with business-partner Nadia Dmytriw, managing sales in California and providing the always invaluable check on Gary’s inclination for extremely long run-on sentences. It’s tireless, unending work, but she loves it.
Nadia spent the last decade plus working in various aspects of the wine trade in France, Russia, and most recently, her native San Francisco Bay Area. While her love for wine did not exactly come from her family; her Ukrainian grandfather would mix jug wine with vodka to ensure it wouldn’t spoil and she still catches her mother sneaking ice cubes into her wineglass. However, her love of foreign cultures, languages, and teaching did point the way. Those passions led her to France and then Russia after college and she spent the next 7 years alternating teaching jobs in the two countries with stints at a couple well regarded Grand Cru Classés in Pauillac, a large Bordeaux négociant, and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
Nadia’s first serious encounter with wine took place in a public school cafeteria in Bordeaux. Ever present on the teacher’s table, wine was not an accessory or a pretension but rather an active participant in the meal. It generated conversation, sparked debates, eased nerves, and broke barriers. Upon returning to the States in 2006, Nadia landed a job at K&L Wine Merchants where she was introduced to the world of small production natural wine and tasted her first Joli Vin wine. She joined Gary at Joli Vin in 2008 and has never felt more at home at work, as she does now. Like France’s sacred hour and a half lunch break, wine with ones meal was a daily reminder that it is the process of our daily endeavors and the objectives of our ambitions that count. It is that elusive balance between the transcendental and the daily experience that Nadia continues to pursue. When not at work, Nadia can either be found cooking big meals in her ridiculously tiny kitchen, holed up in the dance studio practicing Flamenco, or avidly cycling up and down the Bay Area hills and coast.