A Week in Napa Valley Starts with Ma(i)sonry


I was in Napa a couple of weeks ago and really...I had meant to blog about it sooner. But life has a way of turning things on their heads...me included. I had a wonderful day with two good friends, and aside from the sweltering heat ( I think it was 120 degrees....OK I'm exaggerating, but not by alot) we had so much fun. So, this week I am blogging about all of the things we did and places we went. (I know the title is a little confusing. I was there for the day, but YOU will be seeing our day all week!).
We came to Napa Valley for a wine tasting and book signing event taking place at Ma(i)sonry in Yountville. One of only three stone buildings constructed in Yountville, the building that is now Ma(i)sonry was built in 1904 as the primary residence of Charles Rovegno, an Italian immigrant lured to the fertile farmlands of the valley.
The newest owner, Michael Polenske, has taken this historic building and through careful preservation and meticulous renovation, has turned it into a showplace for fine art, carefully selected vintage furniture and beautifully crafted custom furniture, as well as a a boutique wine tasting venue. Ma(i)sonry has become a collective for a partnership of wine makers such as Blackbird Vineyards, Brown Estate, Joel Gott Wines, Lail Vineyards, Pedras Wine Company, Renteria Wines and Tor Kenward Family Wines.

Here is proprietor and curator, Michael Polenske with girlfriend, Kimberly Miller (editor of Daily Candy, San Francisco by the way!) Handsome couple, no?

Also an art and furniture collective, Ma(i)sonry is currently exhibiting works by Chiara Mondavi ( yes, THAT Mondavi) and Wade Hoefer. Furniture collective partners include such greats as Ron Mann, Alexandra von Furstenburg, Citizen:Citizen, and Hudson Furniture.

Front Room

Michael assembled a team of talent to renovate the building and the grounds with the help of Project manager, Paul Leary (also COO of Blackbird Vineyards....many hats!). Architects Douglas Thornley, Gould Evans/Baum Thornley, Designer Erin Martin , and Landscape Architect, Dave Roche of Roche + Roche worked to create the perfect marriage of historic preservation and modern design. Please check out the Ma(i)sonry website to learn all about the process. In the photo above you can see how the old stone walls were a rustic counterpoint to the new industrial modern staircase.

The spaces are filled with antiques and art, like the landscapes of Wade Hoefer shown above and below.

A piece by Chiara Mondavi hangs above a Bombe console.

Clever "art"!

Another piece by Chiara Mondavi sits above a console by Alexandra von Furstenburg.

The decomposed granite patio is full of furniture designed by legendary Ron Mann.

Doesn't it look lovely and cool here? I am sure it is wonderful on most days, but on this particular day it was hot, hot, hot!!!! I was very thankful that there was an abundance of a very refreshing citrus punch, and slices of cool watermelon, as well as delicious wines from the collective wineries. The table is all ready for the book signing for the Orlando Diaz-Azcuy book by Diane Dorrans Saeks, (which is available here)

Somehow Diane and Orlando managed to look serenely cool, collected and quite wonderful! Be sure to checkout Diane's blog, the Style Saloniste! She has a wealth of knowledge about design and architecture.

Many thanks to Michael and Kimberly for hosting such a fun event ! Ma(i)sonry is a "must see" for anyone planning a trip to the Napa Valley.

All photos by katiedid except those of the patio provided by Diane Dorrans Saeks