Wine Country Agenda: Vaso Cellars, Kosta Browne and Ashes & Diamonds

This summer, explore the next generation of highly coveted wines with a message.

Dana Estates’ spirit of generosity continues in Vaso Cellars

All photos by Adrian Gregorutti

As “Dana” means spirit of generosity in Sanskrit, the exclusive Dana Estates has introduced a new brand called Vaso Cellars that allows more wine lovers to share at the vessel (Vaso) their Rutherford and Howell Mountain wines, and equally, a beautiful, hidden property in the foothills of the Mayacamas. A visit to Vaso Cellars includes a rare tour of the main winery, anchored in the former ruins of a 19th century stone building reimagined by Howard Backen into a luxury reception, library and haute winemaking spaces.

After the tour, Vaso Cellars guests will taste in the rustic Rooster Barn also renovated by Howard Backen. Currently, two wines are offered in the tasting and in the inaugural limited membership: a Cabernet Sauvignon ($85) from select plots of their organic-certified mountain vineyards, primarily Hershey Vineyard, as well as from the home Helms Vineyard; and an even smaller production, barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc ($50). Visits are by prior appointment only.

Revealing wines at Kosta Browne in Sebastopol

All photos by Troyce Hoffman

For the first time ever, Kosta Browne has a formal tasting room for its mailing list customers at its home at The Barlow. Hidden within the winery, the gallery designed by Jennifer Robins Interiors and Wade Design Architects, is modern and elegant with the upstairs lounge and tasting area overlooking the production area. Kosta Browne’s tasting experience allows guests to customize their own experiences, revealing the craftsmanship of winemaking, and the transparency of the small-production, California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.

 

 

Visits are available Monday through Saturday for those on Kosta Browne’s mailing list with advance reservation.

 

Mid-Century food, wine and design at Ashes & Diamonds

All photos by Bruce Damonte

In creating Ashes & Diamonds  LA media executive Kashy Khaledi looked to mid-century and the lighter, fresher wines of that time. He collaborated with LA architect Barbara Bestor to represent the era with pure California modernism. Her first winery project, Bestor recalls mid-century function and style by designing exteriors that speak to the industrial language of production, softened by Eames-style interiors. The clean lines set-off a statement-making, Donald Wexler inspired folding plate roof, and Albert Frey style portholes.

 

Ashes & Diamonds showcases their lighter, food-friendly wines with lunch and dinner offerings prepared by their in-house chef. The A&D Vintage Experience ($250 pp) is a real retrospective of mid-century Napa from farming to ethos to a private tastings of vintage wines from the 60s to 70s, capped by a 5-course, classic steakhouse meal. The A&D Wines + Food ($95) is a 5-course lunch paired with six of their current release wines but every Thursday in August, this becomes “Elvis Eats” ($50 pp) with dishes inspired by the King’s favorite foods: Burnt BLT+C Sandwich, Soda Pop Sparerib, Smokey Mac + Cheese, Southern Black-Eyed Peas and Skewered Fried Peanut Butter + Banana Sandwich, all paired with wine. Prior reservations required. 4130 Howard Lane, Napa

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