Wine Country Takes the Barnyard Beyond the HoedownAuthor:Christina Julian
Many harvest moons ago, Wine Country was a vast land where wineries were few, you had to forage for restaurants, and barnyard abodes were a mainstay. While that quiet and quaint way of life is long since gone, barn-style buildings still boom. Here are some of our favorite modern day takes.
The Howard Backen designed Larkmead Vineyards is sleek in its simplicity, from the board-and-batten siding and corrugated metal roof to the stark white interiors that pop with ribbons of color. The subtle look contrasts with the fiery personality of former inhabitant, Firebelle Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who lived on the property in the 1850s. “Firebelle Lil” as she was known, left businessman Howard Coit to settle in the Napa Valley where she became infamous as the first female mascot of the Knickerbocker Fire Engine Company No. 5. The Firebelle red wine (a blend of Merlot, Cabernet, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc) is equally nuanced.
Rutherford’s Alpha Omega Winery supercharges the barnyard look with its exposed, glass-paned entryway and vaulted ceiling. Sparsely strewn light fixtures allow natural sunlight to dominate. Warm and earthy tones on the inside contrast with the dark wood slats of the outside. The patio is the primo place to sink in and enjoy your vino as the massive fountains dance and dissolve the buzz of Highway 29.
St. Helena’s Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch lights up the farmyard look with its industrial chic interiors and cow-poking exteriors. Wrought iron wraparound light fixtures give you something to gawk at, as does the wall of wine. Snag a communal table to socialize or scoot outdoors for a cocktail and some al fresco dining. The outdoor gardens are thriving this time of year granting the true farm-to-table experience the restaurant is known for. We love the arty barnyard pitchforks and shovels that drape the wall behind the outdoor bar. Enjoy snacks and sips fireside or sink into a rocking chair and savor the last licks of Indian summer.
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