An Ornate Venetian Barn Indulges


All photos by Peter Bowers unless noted

On the road just north of Yountville, the new Piazza del Dotto stands impressively against a wooded knoll. The opening of the Piazza on September 1 marks the third winery and visitor center for the Del Dotto family in twenty years, each property conveying a unique feel but all exuding the same themes: Italian heritage, generosity and indulgence of the senses.

The nearly 10,000 square-foot main building La Barchessa designed by Ilio De Filippis, is owner David Del Dotto’s Italian version of today’s modern “barn” vernacular, the reference captured in the rustic 100-year-old Douglas fir beams and trusses in the main tasting room. Below, an ornate amalgam of Italian design and décor celebrates craftsmanship, from the marble tiles hand-laid by Italian masons, to antique furnishings, artwork and lighting.

A focal point in the main room is the 15-foot-tall main chandelier designed by Ilio De Filippis and hand-crafted in Florence, flanked on either side in the upper atrium by hand-blown amethyst Murano glass chandeliers. The atrium spaces lead to terraces overlooking Del Dotto’s 8.5 acres of Oakville appellation Cabernet Sauvignon vines, 137-year-old Sevillano olive trees and manicured grounds.

Behind the barn is the inviting Nani garden, a love letter to Tuscan estate landscaping with Renaissance era sculptures and calming fountains framed by living borders, the sensory immersion enhanced by the color and sounds of peacocks, doves and pheasants. Integrated into the garden are vegetable beds and a chicken coop that provide ingredients for the serious culinary program led by Chef Joshua Schwartz, a long-time Thomas Keller alum, in the new 1,600 square-foot kitchen. In the garden, guests can experience the food and wine in the portico or under a vine covered iron arbor.

According to Desiree Del Dotto, the Piazza will emphasize food and wine, featured in a “Poppers at Piazza” pairing of five wines with delicious morsels or the decadent “Delicacies by Del Dotto” menu of six to seven wines paired with satisfying small plates, topped by a port and cheese or dessert pairing.

Poppers at Piazza. Photo by Marc Fiorito

Piazza Del Dotto opens officially September 1 and will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for its food and wine programs, or wine tasting flights. 7466 St. Helena Hwy., Napa

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