Most people go to wine country for the wines. And yes, that is a great reason to go. But increasingly people are visiting wineries simply to marvel at the structures themselves. They want to appreciate the great lengths that wineries go to display their facilities with the same passion they use to create their great wines.
Sometimes a winery will become an even greater attraction than their wines. It becomes a destination of its own, not just a detour on the way to a tasting.
We will limit this post to the Napa Valley, but in the future, we will explore the great architecture of wineries elsewhere in California, the US, and around the world. We also intend to pair great wine with great art and architecture for an enhanced experience going far beyond the selections available at your local store.
Owned by the Spanish winemakers Cordorniu, the Artesa winery (artesa is the Catalan word for handcrafted) was designed by Spanish architect Domingo Triay in an avant-garde style. It is built into a hilltop on this 350-acre estate. Panoramic views make it easy to appreciate the spectacular beauty of the Carneros region. The tasting room exhibits the great sculptures and other works of resident artist Gordon Huether.
The winery is located at 1345 Henry Road in Napa, and reservations for tastings may be made on VinoVisit.com
Book your tasting at Artesa:
The Domaine Carneros château was inspired by the classic 18th century Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France, home of Champagne Taittinger, which owns Domaine Carneros. The château was completed in 1989.
The château and winery are located at 1240 Duhig Rd. in the Carneros region of Napa. Reservations are not required.
Opus One, was created in 1984 as a joint venture between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Ch. Mouton Rothschild of Bordeaux. The wines were one of the first ultra premium wines from California. The beautiful winery itself was completed in 1991 and appears to be rising up from the ground underneath.
Located at 7900 St Helena Hwy, Oakville, CA, Tasting and tour reservations are required and taken by phone at 707-944-9442.
Beringer was founded in the late 19th century. The famous Rhine House and 1,200 feet of tunnels were built in the 1870s. Tours and tastings are still held in this spectacular structure. Incidentally, Beringer continued to make wine (of the sacramental variety) during Prohibition.
The Rhine House is located at 2000 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574. Tours and tastings may be reserved at (707) 302 – 7592.
Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa (Castle of Love) is a 121,000 sq. ft. representation of a 13th Century Tuscany (Italy) castle with high walls and defensive towers. It took 14 years to build. The Castello also has a dungeon and torture chamber (just in case people overindulge on the wine).
Castello di Amorosa is located at 4045 Highway 29, just 5.5 miles north of St. Helena on the left. Reservations are not required
“Wine is an art form that should delight, illuminate, and surprise.” –Jan Shrem, founder of Clos Pegase.
In building the winery, Jan Shrem held a design competition and it was finished in 1987. The design reflects both modern and ancient styles.
There are 20,000 sq. ft. of caves built into a volcanic knoll just off to the side. The winery is located at 1060 Dunaweal Ln, Calistoga, CA. Tours and tastings are by appointment and may be made at 707-942-4981.
Darioush Winery, noted for its Bordeaux-styled wines, was founded in 1997 by Iranian born, Darioush Khaledi. The winery is located on 120 acres in southern Napa Valley across both the Oak Knoll and Mt. Veeder AVAs.
The winery is a Persian-style temple that evokes the ancient Persian city of Persepolis. This was part of the Achaemenian Empire, ruled by Darius I (the Great) from 522 BC to 486 BC.
The winery is located at 4240 Silverado Trail in Napa. Tastings are by reservation only at 707-257-2345. The two-hour tasting includes small bites crafted by their private chef.
Discover and plan your next wine tasting itinerary: