Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wine Country: Yountville, Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley

Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley  6711 Washington St./Pedroni St., N end of town, (707) 944-0889.  Sun-W 10-7, Thur-Sat 10-10.  Built in 1890 as a brandy distillery, this structure has local fieldstone and river rock features and brick walls that are 22 inches thick.  Its storied past includes stints as a speakeasy, school, bordello, LSD factory, antique shop, and B&B.  Currently it is an art and design gallery and wine-tasting facility as well as a National Historic Site.  Visitors are greeted with a complimentary tasting of one vintage (we heard, “Let me get you a welcome splash.”) and are invited to browse the two-story gallery and lovely outdoor space dotted with century-old olive trees and contemporary sculpture.  Should you want to do more extensive wine tasting, a collection of more than 50 wines from the small wineries represented here is available to choose from—perhaps a bright Blackbird Vineyards Arriveste Rose or an earthy red Casa Piena Our Gang Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards that are “just over there.”  The staff is knowledgeable and hospitable, and you can purchase wines you like on site.

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