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,  faux Mediterranean look?

Then, step inside a very different kind of tasting room at Ma(i)sonry in Yountville (just a block from the French Laundry), where I was invited to take a tour recently.

The historic, stone building that was once a private home is decorated with giant, glittering bird’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  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)sonry’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 – or perhaps a stuffed leather pig – to take home with you.

More: Another Unique Wine Tasting Experience in the Napa Valley — “Enoteca Signorello”

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  • This sounds like a wonderful wine tasting spot. I love how you described some a s being faux Mediterranean. LOL. That is so accurate!

  • What a neat wine tasting! I would love to visit there!

  • hehe you know that stuffed leather pig is compellingly cute! 😛 It looks like a gorgeous place I have to say! 🙂

  • Valerie Owens

    Dear Carolyn
    Thank you for your comments on Food Gal! We truly appreciate your willingness to share your positive experience with others and hope that you will come and visit with us again soon. Please advise if you would like me to add your name to our private client list so you can be made aware of new wine releases or upcoming events in the Napa Valley or throughout the globe!


    Valerie Owens with Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley and Blackbird Vineyards

  • Looks like a fun visit. I would definitely go to a place like this.

  • That block of wooden head is a bit disconcerting…but what a fun concept! I’d love to visit and experience this new dining style sometime!

  • I’ve not been there, but will have to check it out for the art work alone. I love these collective places that carry wine for the various small wineries around the area, and points beyond.

    There’s a similar one here in SF that serves as a tasting room for a lot of the small wineries in Sonoma and Napa.

  • What a lovely & apart place to dine & wine!! It looks special, that’s for sure,..very interesting too!

  • What a great find! We haven’t been up to Napa in awhile, but are planning a quick trip in June. Can you recommend any other discoveries of yours that we should check out (in addition to Enoteca Signorello, which also looks fantastic)?

  • Leah: It’s not hard to find gems in the Napa Valley. Definitely check out Bottega restaurant if you haven’t been yet. Search on my blog and you’ll find my photos and write-up when I dined there.

  • I can sit here all day just consuming glass after glass of awesome wine, atmosphere here sounds and very comfy too!

  • Love Ma(i)sonry! Brown estate and Blackbird are awesome! Also a fan on Justlyn Perry’s Blend that they serve there. Renteria is also amazing!

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