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Palate to Palette

Jun 13, 2018 05:24PM ● Published by Fran Miller

'Pinwheels' by Jim Drain and Ara Peterson, at Hall

Known for its world-class wine and spectacular countryside, the Napa and Sonoma valleys are also home to world-class art collections. It’s the perfect pairing – great wine in tasting rooms and great art on estate grounds. 

Wineries are drawing art lovers from all over the world to view their collections. Here are a few worthy of a visit next time you’re sipping your way through summer.

HALL: Soaring high in the sky, a striking silver sculpture named Bunny Foo Foo is one of 35 modern art pieces that welcome guests to Hall Napa Valley. Curated by proprietors Craig and Kathryn Hall, works at this art-rich winery are found in whimsical locations. The winery’s tank room is painted in splashes of red and adorned with 'Pinwheels’ by Jim Drain and Ara Peterson. Graham Caldwell’s blown glass 'Red Rain' hangs in a tasting room and Jim Campbell’s 'Exploded View' hypnotizes with its LED light displays. In the garden, a large scale sculpture by Patrick Dougherty, 'Deck the Halls,' beckons with its fantastical branches. Make sure to sip the winery’s acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon while you tour.

     Hess Gallery

Hess Collection At Donald Hess’s historic winery, 40-years of his fascination with art has culminated into an iconic collection with works by Robert Motherwell, Francis Bacon, and Gerhard Richter. Front-and-center is the flaming typewriter, 'Homage,' created by Leopoldo Maler as a tribute to his uncle who was persecuted for writing political essays. Plan enough time to tour the entire art collection, then relax with a sip of Hess Petite Sirah.

              Mondavi copper sculpture by Len Urso

Robert Mondavi Winery: At this famous St. Helena winery’s entrance, a seven-foot, 3,000 pound copper sculpture by Len Urso pays tribute to trail blazer Robert Mondavi. The late vintner and his wife Margrit, an artist herself, were captivated by the fusion of art, wine, and food. Over the years, the art of Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, and Nathan Oliveira has been highlighted. The permanent collection features  an enormous St. Francis of Assisi sculpture by the celebrated Beniamino Bufano.

     Circle of Animals by Ai WeiWei

Donum Estate: This Carneros region winery boasts 30 awe-inspiring sculptures, each cleverly displayed on the massive 200-acre property. Standouts in the ever-evolving collection, scattered among the 150-year-old olive trees and organic farm, include gigantic pieces by Zhang Wang, Artuor Di Modica, Fernando Botero, and Ai Weiwei. Contemporary Terra Cotta Warriors by Yue Minjun stand guard.

Imagery gallery

Imagery Estate Winery: When Joe Benziger founded Imagery in the 1980s, he commissioned Healdsburg-based artist Bob Nugent to design the winery’s first label. Since that time, artwork by more than 300 artists has graced Imagery bottles, each featuring a depiction of the Parthenon, the winery’s signature logo. Past labels by renowned artists such as SolLeWitt, Shoichi Ida, Goncalo Ivo, and Judy Pfaffcan be found in the Glenn Ellen tasting room. Taste at the wine bar or picnic at the al fresco tables.

                                                                                                                 -FRAN MILLER

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