Sunday Special Wine Country Tour - Details

Sunday, 16 October

10:30 Darioush Winery, Napa

This 22,000 square foot winery, the first in America to combine architecture, design and Persian culture, provides a unique and exhilarating experience. Reminiscent of the great noble architecture that once existed; the imagery of the Darioush building evokes Persepolis, the illustrious capital of ancient Persia. Darioush just opened its new building to guests on August 16, 2004 after five years in the making. It combines materials, castings, and furnishings from distant lands and exotic locations. One of the most important aspects of the Persian culture is hospitality, and the winery is designed to create a welcoming, enjoyable as well as a rich and intriguing environment for guests. Visitors will receive unparalleled service and a sensational experience. Darioush, a winery noted for its Bordeaux style estate wines, implements old world labor-intensive, micro-vineyard management and new world state of the art technology to craft fine wines from its estates located in the appellations of Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder, Oak Knoll, Atlas Peak, Oakville, and Carneros. http://www.darioush.com/

Darioush wines are well-respected and the building is beautiful. I am looking forward to visiting it for the first time with you. - Becky

11:30 Brix Restaurant, Yountville

Adjacent to the restaurant, our Brix garden was created so we can offer the freshest herbs and vegetables on our seasonal menu. Garden Manager, Shereylle Fischer, works with the Executive Chef Ryan Jackson to decide what to grow. About eighty percent of the fresh ingredients on the tasting menu on any given day during season are picked directly from our garden. This summer the Brix garden will be planted with at least 10 different types of tomatoes, including 'Costoluto Genovese' from Italy, and such heirloom varieties as 'Black Krim,' 'Brandywine,' 'Green Zebra,' 'Cherokee Purple,' 'Mortgage Lifter,' and 'Pineapple.' http://www.brix.com/restaurant/home.htm

I've eaten here before and it was wonderful. Hope you like it. You can read a restaurant review here - Becky

1:00 Clos Pegase Winery, Calistoga

Michael Graves, a renowned Princeton architect, was commissioned to build a "temple to wine and art" at the base of a knoll with sweeping views of the Napa Valley below. Within the knoll itself 20,000 feet of aging caves have been excavated, including the breathtaking Cave Theater, a dramatic setting for celebrations, presentations and special events. Construction was completed in 1987. The spectacular structures Graves created -- and the surrounding sculpture garden that includes some of the world's greatest twentieth-century works of art -- have won international awards and generated great excitement in the wine industry. The national press has been generous in its praise as well, describing Clos Pegase as "a place of pilgrimage" and "America's first monument to wine and art." http://www.clospegase.com/aboutus.html

We will walk through their caves - they are pretty amazing. And the art is beautiful, too. - BK

3:30 Niebaum-Coppola Winery, Rutherford

"Francis Ford Coppola known as the five-time Oscar-winning director, writer and producer of the Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now. His more recent directorial credits include Bram Stoker's Dracula, Jack, and John Grisham's The Rainmaker. His San Francisco-based film company, "American Zoetrope" develops and produces films for both the large and small screen.Coppola has been making films for almost 35 years and wine at his Napa Valley estate for 25. He and his wife, Eleanor purchased part of the historic Niebaum estate in 1975 and made their first vintage of Rubicon in 1978.In 1995 Coppola realized a long-held dream. He purchased the remainder of the original Inglenook estate founded by Gustave Niebaum, restoring it to its historic dimensions. The Inglenook Chateau has been painstakingly renovated, with Coppola actively involved in every aspect of the design. His restoration of the property includes replanting vineyards on the same rootstock used by the estate's founder at the turn of the century." http://www.niebaum-coppola.com/site.php

If we have time, I thought we might take the estate tour, ending with a tasting. Your wine glass is yours to keep as a souvenir. - Becky