Wine Country Agenda: Cool Spots for Hot Days


Go inside these stylish destinations around Wine Country for cooler temps and lighter Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines to start.

Artesa’s Barcelona-inspired Tasting Salon in Cool Carneros

Owned by the 17th generation of Codorniu-Raventos based near Barcelona, Artesa Winery brings Catalan spirit indoors with a new Tasting Salon that reflects its deep Spanish roots. Conceived and designed by Pentagram and Signum Architecture, the Salon is light and airy like the Mediterranean with a view to the Bay, anchored by a circular bar with custom designed tiles hand-made in Barcelona. Tall white ‘tapas’ tables entice guests to try their Pinxtos tapas pairing, one of several new food and wine pairings offered by appointment in the new Salon. Artesa’s artisan message is also reflected in the wall art designed by Mucho, inspired by the modern Spanish design in tile, metalwork, textiles and illustration one might see on a Gaudi building or street tiles on the Passeig de Gracia. Artesa President Susan Sueiro said “Artesa’s new Tasting Salon embodies the best of both our worlds.”

Artesa produces classic Carneros Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but make sure to savor the sparkling since Codorniu is a world-leading producer of Cava, having created the traditional method sparkling wine in 1872. The new Salon Tulip Tasting of caviar with the sparkling and aromatic whites is a good place to start. Artesa is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1345 Henry Road, Napa

A New Lunch Destination for World Class Food and Wine at Joseph Phelps

Photo by Matt Morris

Joseph Phelps’ new culinary program offers guests the complete Wine Country experience: a private valley setting, a chef-driven menu and exceptional wines to pair.

Photo by Matt Morris

Held indoors in the newly renovated visitors’ center originally designed by John Marsh Davis in the 1970s, the 3-hour Bountiful Table lunch begins on the terrace with aperitif, such as a glass of estate Sauvignon Blanc served recently with a demitasse of chilled peach gazpacho prepared by 3rd generation Sous Chef Allie Phelps based on her grandmother’s recipe. Each gorgeous dish in the multi-course meal is complex and layered, the savoriness heightened by pairing with several exceptional wines including Joseph Phelps’ icon wine Insignia, a Bordeaux-style blend, and their benchmark Far West Sonoma Coast single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Today’s menu included Oyster Granita, Fennel Cured Halibut, Foie Gras Tortellini, Liberty Farms Duck breast and confit, and a Bera Farms Peach dish for dessert.

Photo by Emma K. Morris

The new culinary program is led by Executive Chef Brian Sutton with Sous Chefs Allie Phelps and Ryan Seal. In addition to the Bountiful Table ($275 pp), Joseph Phelps offers a popular 90-minute Wine & Cheese Pairing tasting ($100 pp) and a 2-hour Playful Plates ($195 pp) that pairs their Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast wines with tasty morsels. Check the website for days and times, and to reserve in advance. Joseph Phelps, 200 Taplin Road, St. Helena.

Gary Farrell’s Modern Salon in Bucolic Russian River Valley

Gary Farrell fans can now taste its Pinot Noir wines in modern luxury in the new Michael Guthrie-designed Salon. Set high atop a scenic ridge, the canted windows and vaulted ceilings compel guests to gaze out onto the Russian River Valley. The new Salon offers a variety of comfortable seating indoors and out for guided tastings. Serious Pinot lovers will want to book the Inspiration Tasting of some of their finest single-vineyard, library and small-lot wines paired with chef-driven bites conducted in the impressive new private room.

Gary Farrell Winery is open daily by appointment. 10701 Westside Road, Healdsburg

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