Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley
In my previous article, I had mentioned that Jeff Durham of Gentleman Farmer had suggested we go to Silenus to taste wines from small producers. He also suggested we visit Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley in Yountville.
Billing itself as a winery collective, Ma(i)sonry pours wines for several small wineries:
Kristine Ashe Vineyards
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley
Pedras Wine Company
R.A. Harrison Family Cellars
Tor Kenward Family Wines
Upon entering, I was greeted warmly by Peter Downey, Ma(i)sonry’s Director of Client Services. He poured for me a taste of Renteria 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, explained some of the rich history of the building and the artwork collection, and invited me to tour the premises prior to my tasting.
The stone building was built in 1904 as a private residence and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Art and furnishings on display in this “living gallery” are also available for purchase, both in the rooms of the house and also in the gardens.
As I finished my tour of the property [and my Pinot], I was met by Wine Director Thys-Jan Tepper, who asked me if I was ready to taste some wine. Indeed I was. As the weather was perfect, I sat at a table in the garden and tasted some of the wines offered at Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley: Blackbird Vineyards (which is focused on Pomerol-inspired, Merlot-based wines) and Ma(i)sonry’s own label.
Highlights of this tasting for me were:
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley 2009 Marsanne (Stagecoach Vineyard) – I’ve had Zinfandels from this Vineyard but never Marsanne. Very enjoyable.
Blackbird Vineyards 2009 Arise – a blend of 53% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley 2008 Tempranillo (Stagecoach Vineyard) – 95% Tempranillo, 5% Cabernet Franc. I’ve noticed an increase in availability of California Tempranillos recently and have been drinking a lot of them from Paso Robles. This “Temp” is my favorite so far.
Ma(i)sonry is definitely worth a visit for a unique and fascinating wine-tasting experience.
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.