Napa Valley Iconic Wineries is a gorgeous coffee table book about noteworthy wines and artisan vintners. It’s published by Panache, and is another great example of really fine workmanship and story telling. I’ve written about two other Panache books in the past, and I love each one of them as favorites in my wine book library.
- Spectacular Wineries of Napa Valley
- Into the Earth ~ A Wine Cave Renaissance, Daniel D’Agostini with Molly Chappellet
Gorgeous is gorgeous, it’s just that simple and Panache Publishing continues to turn around beautiful books.
My favorite page in this book is page has very stylized image of a picturesque picnic for six on page 119. It’s of a vista view overlooking a chardonnay vineyard on Howell Mountain. This picture has the feeling of an Impressionist painting, with so many elements of design. Claude Monet or Renoir would have been very inspired by this setting.
My favorite winery feature in the book is about the Robert Mondavi Winery, of course, because I’ve been very fortunate to have worked there. It begins, “At the age of 53, with little money but full of energy and visions, Robert Mondavi changed the course of the U.S. wine industry.” What isn’t said here, but we all learned through his inspiring life, is that at the age of 50(+) years old, life can begin anew in marvelous ways. Being in one’s 50’s is not an “age glass ceiling,” unless you let it be. It’s an age of opportunity with an entrepreneurial spirit released from one’s life employment restrictions. A sprawling image of the winery… How many times have I walked around that property educating people about Robert Mondavi, his wines, and the winery? It’s a very transformative image for me, of course. Very large print for this one tells a corporate story, not the heart of it that I learned. If you want all the insider info, buy Robert Mondavi’s Harvest of Joy book, where he tells it like it is. I read it while at Mondavi, published during my time there. It’s brilliant and telling of who the man behind the winery was. I doubt it’s in anyone’s wine education repertoire these days. I’m sure it’s in Constellation’s message points. But, within the framework of this book, it’s just lovely, because that’s what Panache prints.
Another favorite story for me is “The Castle’s.” If you’ve been to Napa, you know the buzz… “Have you visited ‘The Castle” yet?” That would be Castello di Amorosa… The first time I visited the winery, I was freshly back from Portugal, and had spent a good amount of time visiting some of their castles. While the size of castles in Europe is very grand, having Castello di Amorosa available in Napa is a mini lesson in architecture and a favorite spot for guests seeking an authentic castle experience, especially for children. I’ve visited a few times, now, because it’s a place where you want to bring others. Great sights and really great selection of wines.
Napa has some truly magnificent and iconic wineries, and the Panache Partners has captured 40 really fine examples of style and architecture that will keep you (and your guests) thumbing through this, or any of their books, for a very long time.
From the Panache site:
About Panache Partners LLC
Panache Partners is one of the fastest growing publishing companies in the country. Founded in 2002, the company specializes in the development and production of upscale coffee table books showcasing world-class travel, interior design, custom homebuilding/design professionals, golf, as well as other topics of interest. With over 40 titles published or in production, the organization’s staff is constantly seeking and producing high-end subject matter, both on a national and regional level.