“Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”

Robert Mondavi said it best, “Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.” Winemakers are artists for sure and I truly appreciate when a winemaker appreciates and displays other artists work.

The following list are a few wineries/vineyards that show appreciation to artists by displaying their art for visitors to enjoy:

Markham Vineyards: 

Displays the art by Harold and Peggy Francis.

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“Harold’s art drawing inspiration from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms and his vivid imagination, Harold uses an intricate technique of layering color, shape and texture. As he paints new patterns and images emerge drawing the viewer deeper and deeper into his creations.

“Animals Among Us” series by artist, Peggy Francis, honors animals that are integral to our Napa Valley lifestyle. Farm life is deeply rooted in Peggy’s southern childhood, images are recalled from her Mammaw’s chickens, pigs, and milk cow and the cattle and horses on her family farm. These contemporary paintings of the farm animals among us speak to our collective longing for the gentler pace of agrarian life we experience in the Napa Valley.”

Artist website: http://www.2718indistudio.com/

Vineyard Website: http://www.markhamvineyards.com/visit-us/art-gallery

Mumm Napa:

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Mumm has photography on display from Ansel Adams and Wayne Levin. Adams’ twenty-seven gelatin silver prints includes many of his most famous photographs. Levin’s photographs made beneath the surface of the waves have captivated viewers for decades.

Website: https://www.mummnapa.com/visitmummnapa/fine-arts-gallery

The Hess Collection:

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“Donald Hess began collecting art in 1966. Today, The Hess Collection houses less than a quarter of a collection that is shown in museums worldwide. His collecting style is a personal endeavor driven by passion rather than monetary investment or current trends. He develops a close dialogue with an artist to better understand what drives him or her to create and he carefully limits his focus as a collector to 20 living artists whose work he faithfully supports long term. As is evident by the caliber of the collection, he collects with the uncanny ability to acquire works by lesser known artists who often go on to become well known and respected in their disciplines. His typical commitment to an artist spans decades and various stages of his career.”

Here are a few artists in his collection to check out:

Franz Gertsch
Robert Motherwell
Anselm Kiefer
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Leopoldo Maler
Francis Bacon
Gerhard Richter

Website: http://www.hesscollection.com/art/

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards:

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Upon approaching Jamieson Ranch you can very clearly see from the road the loud colorful graffiti-esk mural. I loved how they had a rustic feel and then added this urban pop. Contributing artists include popular SF Bay Area urban muralists Ricky Watts, Meagan Spendlove, “Griffin One” and Chris Jehly; self-taught Los Angeles artists “Duce” and “Haste” and ubiquitous graffiti specialist “Quake,” who is bringing his style from New York City.

Website: http://www.jamiesonranchvineyards.com/music-and-art

Hall Wines:

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“Avid lifelong art collectors, Craig and Kathryn Hall are delighted to invite guests to enjoy expressive art and world-class wines. HALL St. Helena and HALL Rutherford feature select works that are sure to inspire the senses. Featuring some of the most internationally acclaimed artists today, such as John Baldessari, Jim Campbell, Nick Cave, Jaume Plensa, guests will be guided through the collection, while tasting some of HALL’s amazing wines.”

Website: http://www.hallwines.com/visit/winery-experiences/hall-architecture-art

Seven Stones Winery:

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“Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ron Wornick, an accomplished woodworker in his own right, along with his wife Anita, began actively collecting master artisan pieces made from wood, ceramics, glass, fiber, and metal. Within 20 years, the Wornicks had created one of the premier contemporary craft collections in the world. The collection has been on view at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, American Craft Museum in New York, the Oakland Museum of California, and the McAllen Museum in South Texas.”

Website: https://www.sevenstoneswinery.com/pages/art.html

Please let me know if you have any other great wineries you know of that have awesome art displays!! (Pictures are not by me)

@happensforariesling or happensforariesling@gmail.com

Sutter Home Vineyard

I think everyone’s first thought when they think of Sutterhome is I’ve seen that wine in a gas station or drank it when I turned 21 and was broke.

Well remember just because they have affordable wine doesn’t mean it’s all cheap tasting. They are a part of the Trinchero Family which owns most of Napa! They can afford to mass produce and sell for cheap.

To be honest I don’t care for most of Sutterhome wine in the store. But there was two that I enjoyed.

My Favorites:

Reserve White Zinfandel: ($12) Aromas of fresh strawberries and melon and flavors of strawberries. Try with Thai or Latin food!

Triple Cream Sherry:($12) Flavors of nutmeg and sweet orange peel. Try over ice cream! That might be a game changer.

Visiting:

No need for a reservation. This is a great place to stop grab a free tasting and parouze their store as you head to another winery all along

Complimentary tastings!!!!

4 wines off their tasting menu.

Sum it up:

  1. Cheap wines
  2. A few gems
  3. Free tastings!!!!

St. Supery

 

After heading to V. Sattui we drove a whopping 8 minutes to get to St. Supery. St. Supery is more of a modern winery with beautiful vineyards surrounding the estate. There is a definite modern sleek feel to the tasting area. We arrived and the tasting bar was quiet and staff was welcoming and friendly. We were welcome by the hostess with a tasting of their Rosé.

It was nice to be greeted with a drink and then we were introduced to the server who we tasted with. He was knowledgeable of the wines and told us a bit about the history of the brand and wine.

Tasting:

2015 Napa Valley Estate Rosé: Brilliant shades of red and pink combine to present a light and elegant Rosé that is bursting with vibrant young berry flavors. Strawberry, raspberry and watermelon dominate the aromatics, with a background hint of subtle rose petal. Raspberry, strawberry and cranberry laced with an underlying note of blueberry and pomegranate add to the flavorful makeup of this youthful Rosé that finishes bright and full of life.

We did the Estate Tasting ($25) very loosely because of time constraints due to our tour.

2015 Napa Valley Estate Virtu ($30): A blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the 2015 Virtú displays elegant shades of pale yellow and aromas of lemon essence. Lime, quince and lemon rind round out the bouquet with a subtle layer of toasted vanillin oak. Lemon and quince flavors continue throughout the palate with fig, pear and crème brûlée. This is an ornate wine with bright fruit characteristics and an excellent lemon and lime finish.

2014 Napa Valley, Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Chardonnay ($35): Attractive pale yellow hues present in this Chardonnay, while aromas of subtle nectarine and pear entangle with toasted smoky French oak. Flavors of pear, mango, cantaloupe, butterscotch and caramel are met with a creamy texture on the finish from the barrel fermentation and sur lie maturation. This is a round and elegant Chardonnay.

2012 Napa Valley, Rutherford Estate Vineyard Merlot ($50): Deep shades of reds and purples present in this single vineyard Merlot. Aromas of rich ripe blackberry with subtle notes of currant, anise and charred oak combine with just a hint of graphite. Flavors of black plum and dark mocha, couple with subtle raspberry, espresso and toasted vanillin barrel. This is a wine of fine texture, terrific length and structure.

2013 Napa Valley, Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Malbec ($50): This Malbec showcases deep, vibrant, dark purple and red hues. Aromas of juicy boysenberry and dark plum combine with a hint of vanilla oak and black licorice. Flavors of youthful, focused blueberry, black plum and espresso complete the profile. It is a bright wine with fine-grained tannins, nice structure and a gentle and elegant finish.

 

Visiting & Tasting:

Their tasting bar does not require reservations unless you have more than 10. Otherwise call to make a tasting reservation.

They have a huge variety of tastings and tours!! For example: Veggies + Vino,  Aromatherapy with a Corkscrew, Vineyard to Glass tour etc. They can all be booked online .

 

Sum it up:

1). Great Sauvignon Blanc! Which I rarely love.

2) charming, quite and modern estate

3) Tons of tasting classes and tour options.

V. Sattui Winery

This winery has it all! It’s like Disneyland for wino’s! It’s crowded so be ready but the crowds are there for a reason.

Their are 3 tasting rooms, we decided to taste in the market and had a server named, Edwin, who was beyond knowledgable and made the tasting very fun with his humor. It was very crowded but I didn’t feel as though I was neglected at the tasting bar. I tried many wines ranging from their popular fruity Gamy rose to their brandy fortfied Madeira which is a sweet port.

Tasting:

2014 Los Carneros Pinot Noir ($39): sweetly scented with notes of cherry fruit and cinnamon.

2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($45): currant fruit and colors it with dusty spice and hints of black olive.

2014 Los Carneros Chardonnay ($52) : ripe pear, fig and honeydew notes to finish of white peach.

2014 Dancing Egg Riesling ($25): very crisp and refreshing. Fruity and every so slightly sweet not your typical Riesling.

2015 Gamay Rouge ($24): juicy flavors of ripe strawberry, crisp tart cherry and cranberry. 

Madiera ($59): The wine is sweet and luscious with flavors of almonds, caramel, toffee and orange zest.

My purchases:

I ended up buying the Madiera which is $59 a bottle but after opening can be kept anywhere from 1-3 years. I saw this as an investment.

I also bought the 2014 Dry Rosato because I thought it would pair nicely with light apps and was the perfect balance between dry and fruity.

Visiting & Tasting:

$15 – Let one of our friendly and knowledgeable wine-tenders customize your tasting experience by guiding you through our portfolio of wines.

  • Includes up to 5 tastes of our vintage and estate wines
  • No advance reservation required for parties of 10 or less

Free tastings for Military!

Make sure to try some of the food from the deli or if you are visiting on the weekend they have a brick oven pizza and a barbeque pit. I had the pizza and loved it!!!

Sum it up:

  1. Tons of wines to taste and buy that can only be purchased at the winery
  2. Encompasses so much in one place no need to leave to go to another
  3. Wide variety in wine quality and price. Prices for the cheapest and most expensive tastes.

 

Back to Mumm 

This past weekend I made my way back to Mumm Napa where I impressed again with the service and of course the vino!!

I wanted to write quickly about there latest release in lieu of the holiday’s! 

Their Sparkling Pinot Noir

The gorgeous, ruby red color of this wine is your welcome into aromas of black currant, plum, blackberry, and red delicious apples. On the palate, the wine is incredibly juicy, with notes of Bing cherries and plums. This wine is made in a brut style, resulting in a crisp and dry mouthfeel, with bright acid. The tannins are soft, lending structure to the wine, and the long, fruity finish invites you back for more.

Nothing would compliment your Thanksgiving spread more than this festive wine! 

Price is $25 for Club members and $36 for non-Club.    

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards

I began my day at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards and was woo’ed by the large estate with trees lining the entrance and vines as far as you could see. Most of the grapes have been harvested but it did not take away from the beauty. The winery is not in Napa but considered “the gateway to Napa” located in American Canyon.

Upon arriving the staff brought us quickly to our outside reserved tasting area with couches and heaters. It was a nice ambiance. We were given both a tasting menu that was included in our tour and a menu if we would like to purchase additional glasses/tastings.

Wine we tasted are person blends of the jazz musician Brian Culbertson in conjunction with Reata wines.

We tasted the following:

2015 Reata’s Brian Culbertson Rose of Pinot Noir

2014 Reata’s Brian Cubertson Los Carneros Chardonnay

2013 Reata’s Brian Cubertson Pinot Noir

My Favorites:

2014 REATA “BRIAN CULBERTSON” LOS CARNEROS CHARDONNAY: Deep straw yellow hue, the nose is marked by green apple, walnut, pear, honey and apricot. Flavors are honeysuckle  and apple with crisp nuances of dried pineapple.

I typically don’t love Chardonnay but really enjoyed this one. It was light and crisp and scarily easy to put back.

 

Visiting & Tasting:

Seems all their tastings require a reservation and typically range from $40-50 according to their website. After researching online seemed as though their pairings are either $35 or $45 and white only tasting started at $25 and go up to $5o for their Cab. tasting.

Free tastings for Military! (limited menu/tasting)

30% off glasses and bottles for military as well!

Sum it up:

  1. Avoid the craziness of Napa by heading to American Canyon
  2. Great outdoor seating
  3. Appreciate art & music! They have a awesome mural from apexer 

Black Stallion Winery

I headed to Black Stallion Winery near closing time on Saturday to have one last tasting before heading home.The grounds are very beautiful and located on the grounds of a historic equestrian center. Definitely impressive views!

Upon entering the tasting room it was clear that it was popular because of the packed tasting bar and outdoor area. Because we showed up at 4:15 or so and they close at 5:00 pm we were not able to sit outside. We luckily found a table to sit but we had to go up to the bar for a tasting.

We decided to try the “All Red Tasting” which included:

2012 Los Carneros Pinot Noir

2011 Napa Valley Merlot

2012 Napa Valley Syrah

2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Gold Medal

I was a bit annoyed because there was many kids running around the winery and bartenders were so busy there weren’t able to really explain the characteristics. However, it could have been the time of day and because it was a Saturday.

My favorites:

2012 Napa Valley Syrah: Engaging aromas of blueberry, blackberry, and sweet baking spice complement the flavors of ripe berry fruit, vanilla and dark chocolate. Pair the Syrah with barbequed pork spare ribs with plum sauce, lamb shanks or grilled sausage.

Visiting & Tasting:

General tastings don’t require reservations however be aware it gets very busy.

There is a nice outdoor area to taste, I recommend that if possible. It gets very loud and the bar inside is very crowded.

Tastings are $15-40.

 

Sum it up:

  1. Beautiful grounds with perfect photo ops.
  2. Large variety of wine- reds & whites
  3. Free tastings for Military!