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Wine for Fun: Because it's Just that Cool...

Sina Qua Non Vineyards / Elaine & Manfred Krankl

Why it's cool: Well, cult wines are just intriguing. But aside from being a cult wine, it's unbelievably delicious! Sine Qua Non wines are known to be drinkable art! Limited in production with the hope that you sense they were crafted by people who loved making them. The definition of Sine Qua Non is 'an essential condition; a thing that is absolutely necessary.'

Odette Estate / Architect Juan Carlos Fernandez

Why it's cool: Aside from the stunning architecture and interior design... ~ "Odette is a fabled princess… a mistress…a judge…a heroine. Odette is both of antiquity and modernity. You will find her in works of fiction and tales from history. Odette encapsulates our inspiration for this property – femininity, strength and power."

HALL Rutherford / Owners Kathryn and Craig Hall

Why it's cool: The subterranean tasting room at HALL Rutherford, built with limestone and reclaimed 19th century Austrian bricks, is situated directly below its Sacrashe Vineyard. More than 35 pieces of contemporary art are on display here, but the focal point is the eye-catching chandelier, representing a grapevine root system and accented with 1,500 Swarovski crystals.

Ovid Vineyard / Architect Howard Backen

Why it's cool: I'm partial to Howard Backen, but also because this is their purpose: "Partly we recovered the OLDE, FAMILIAR things, partly we created something WONDROUS and NEW."

Orin Swift Vineyard / Papillon Bordeaux Blend

Why it's cool: The label consists of a black and white photo of Vince Tofanelli's grape and mud smeared hands with the word Papillon written across his knuckles. There is nothing else to denote the wine or grape breakdown on the front of the bottle. The photo was taken by photographer of the stars Greg Gorman who has made his name by snapping black and whites of everyone from Al Pacino to Iggy Pop.

The Vintner's Collective / Napa Valley

Why it's cool: Because it's a National Landmark. It all started in 1861 when the Bavarian Philip Pfeiffer bought a piece of land at the corner of Clinton and Main streets. By 1875 he had built a small stone building on it, for use as a brewery. Over the years, the building housed many diferent businesses from brothels to an Italian Grocery Store and everything in between. The address changed to 1245 and since 2002 it has housed Vintner's Collective.

Howard Backen, Architect / Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects and Interior Design

Why he's cool: Because he's just so good... and he gets paid to design wineries! Backen has been a large influence on the architectural aesthetic of Napa. Backen established a friendship with Bill Harlan while at BAR, designing his private residence. In 1994, when Harlan asked Backen to design a winery he was opening up, Backen took the opportunity to move to Napa. Since then, Harlan has met with Backen weekly and have continuously worked closely on projects together.


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