Ma(i)sonry in Yountville — Not Your Typical Tasting Room
Are you so over those crowded winery tasting rooms caught in a time-warp with that tired,Â faux Mediterranean look?
The historic, stone building that was once a private home is decorated with giant, glittering birdâ€™s nest-like metal light fixtures, vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases, and modern, hefty acrylic tables by Alexandra von Furstenberg (yes, the former daughter-in-law of fashion designer Diane). Practically everything is for sale in this eclectic gallery and wine tasting collective.
There are two small tasting rooms inside, each outfitted with a table and chairs. Feeling parched on a sunny afternoon, the hubster and I took a seat in the Â courtyard, an artsy oasis with a fire pit, carved stone pears and pigeon sculptures. At a massive wood table decorated with a bust of Einstein, we kicked back with a flight of Blackbird Vineyards wines, made by Ma(i)sonryâ€™s owner, financial planner-turned-vintner, Michael Polenske.
One sip of the 2007 Blackbird Vineyards Arise (75 percent Merlot, 20 percent Cabernet Franc, and 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon; $50) had me thinking of Thanksgiving cranberry dishes. The fruit-forward wine, redolent of plum and dark cherries, would be ideal for that grand holiday meal.
Ma(i)sonry also carries the wines of some 14 other family-owned wineries, including one of my faves: Brown Estate Vineyards of the Napa Valley, which makes incredible Zinfandels that have deep, rich chocolate notes.
Fifteen different flights are offered ($5 to 40 per person, depending upon the wines), as well as individual tastes by the glass ($4 to $26).
Buy a bottle â€“ or perhaps a stuffed leather pig â€“ to take home with you.