A little bit off the beaten path, in the Napa Valley, off the Silverado Trail in a place called Stag's Leap Palisades, you will find a place that looks a bit different: Quixote.
It has golden domes, roofs of grasses and mosaic columns...and there is not a single straight wall to be found.
It is a fairytale of a place created by men with a vision and a philosophy: "With Cervantes’ Don Quixote as our muse, let us all explore the difference between appearances and reality and engage in the noble pursuits of a knight errant."
With this in mind, wine maker Carl Domaini of Stag's Leap fame began plans for another winery with a man from Vienna. A man who was perhaps ahead of his time. Artist, architect, philosopher and environmentalist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) was perhaps one of the most well known Viennese artists of the 20th century, but was not mainstream by any means. Calling straight lines "the devil's tools" and advocating for environmental sensitivity way before is became fashionable, Hundertwasser was a man apart.
His ideals are evidenced in this magical winery that specializes in Petite Syrah. We found our way here and were lucky to find that the "by appointment only" visitation was not in effect. We were led to a very beautiful patio, which we had all to ourselves.
The mosaic work was stunning. All white and blue, the garden planting echoed the color theme with only blue flowering plants in sight. We found out that the craftsmen were at first non-plussed about the free form design of the mosaic. but were soon convinced this was how it should be done. I understand they were more proud of this project than any other, once it was completed.
We sat in the patio, and thoroughly enjoyed our tasting of wines. We felt pampered and it was so very pleasant, we did not want to leave.
Perhaps it was the perfect weather, or the brilliant surroundings.
Perhaps it was the charm of our knowledgeable wine expert, Rene Haug. His Swiss accent and generous pours certainly captured our spirits.
Or perhaps it was the very good wine.
Quixote wines have a history of producing exceptional wines that have scored typically in the mid 90's from Wine Spectator. We now know why.
We did not leave without purchasing quite a bit.
I hope you don't leave without clicking over to Quixote to learn more about it.