ISSUE 33  |  Fish & Fowl

Restaurant Visit: Winery Tasting Room Roundup

August 19, 2011 10:15 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

It used to be that a winery visit was focused on wine production and tasting, with aesthetics as an afterthought. However, a new crop of vintners is taking winery and tasting room design as seriously as the wine; here's a roundup of some notable Napa and Sonoma destinations.

Above: The tasting room at the Medlock Ames Winery in Healdsburg was originally an old farm store. Designed by Will Wick of San Francisco-based Wick Design, the interiors now feature a zinc tasting bar, salvaged lighting fixtures, and a large communal table with 1950s Walter Gropius chairs. N.B.: Check out the Alexander Valley Bar next door; same owners, same designer, similar vibe—only with cocktails. Photographs by Joe Fletcher.

Above: Designed by Howard Backen of Backen Gillam & Kroeger Architects, the Ovid Winery sits discreetly on a hill with sweeping views of the Napa Valley. The Lab Room, shown above, and the rest of the interiors were designed by Nicole Hollis.

Above: The caves at Ovid.

Above: A Swarovski chandelier by Tord Boontje is the centerpiece in a cave room used for events at Hourglass in St. Helena. Photo by Douglas Sterling.

Above: Netherlands-based Uxus Design created the tasting rooms at the Merus Winery in Napa, which feature Tom Dixon lighting and a chalkboard-painted strip for indicating wine varieties.

Above: Wine barrels painted white create a sculptural installation at Merus Winery. Above two photos by Dim Balsem.

Above: The eco-conscious LEED-gold-certified Cade Winery in Napa was designed by architect Carlos Fernandez of Lail Design Group.

Above: An outdoor terrace at Cade Winery on Howell Mountain with views across the Napa Valley floor.

Above three photos: Michael Polenske of Blackbird Vineyards is the proprietor of Maisonry in Yountville; a design/wine/art gallery with an outdoor tasting patio and gardens. Photos via Flickr.