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Friday, October 29, 2010

Interesting Winery Architecture

A number of visitors are interested in seeing wineries with unique architecture and there are quite a few around.   I split them into old, fascinating, and odd (as in amusing) plus those that have great landscaping.    There are others--this is just a sampling.  These cover both Napa and Sonoma counties.

Old

Beringer

Buena Vista
Image from buenavistacarneros.com

The main winery building is about 125 years old.  The tour goes through some of the old wine making areas.  Beringer is very crowded on summer and autumn weekends, but this is a must-see if you've never been to Napa.
Buena Vista
They call themselves "the oldest premium winery in the state."  You can look around the grounds and the large tasting room area.  This is the birthplace of wine in Sonoma County. 
Castello di Amorosa
I couldn't really decide if the Castello belongs under Old, Fascinating or Odd. Lots of money plus a big ego yields an amazing replica of a medieval castle. OK, it's not really old, but it sure looks that way. Worth a visit for the tour if not for the wine.

Hop Kiln
Taste in a 19th century hop barn.  Sonoma County used to have a lot of hops ... then the grapes came in.

Korbel
The winery site contains the original 19th century winery building.  Their free tour starts at the old train station. They even have an antique rose garden.  There's a lot of history here--ask about the ghost in the old house on the hill above the rose garden.

Schramsberg
Take the great tour of their old wine caves.  Appointment required.
Simi
A 19th century stone building houses the winery (except for the more modern visitors' center).  They used to offer public tours, but I can't tell if they still do from their website.

Fascinating


Opus One
Image from gocalifornia.about.com
 Artesa
Modern architecture that blends in well with the surroundings.
Clos Pegase
A famous architect, an eccentric owner, and a desire to recreate a modern version of ancient Greece.
Domaine Carneros
Several wineries try to emulate a French chateau--Domain Carneros does it best.

Opus One
Very modern and a bit pretentious, just like the wine and the people, but a simple, beautiful mix of classical and contemporary.  Yeah, I know, all those terms don't go together exactly.

Odd

Darioush
Image from darioush.com
 Darioush
I can't think of a structure that's more out of place, but that doesn't mean it's not beautiful or impressive.
Ledson
Not your typical winery building.  Looks more like grandma's house.    Or the Addams Family house.

Landscaping

Ferrari Carano
Image from ferrari-carano.com

Chateau Montelena
And old stone building with a great landscaped pond.
Chateau St. Jean
Very beautiful Mediterranean-style gardens.
Ferrari Carano
Amazing grounds.  They must keep an army of maintenance people busy.

Matanzas Creek
A naturally beautiful corner of Bennett Valley (you'll have to look that up on a map) with nice landscaping and their famous lavendar gardens.