“Most wine-tasting rooms aren’t particularly intimate—you’re usually just standing around a bar,” says Michael Polenske, owner of Blackbird Vineyards in Napa Valley. That’s why he decided to transform a 105-year-old stone manor in Yountville into Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, which combines a tasting-room collective with an art and furniture gallery.
Polenske, who once owned an antiques shop in San Francisco, was inspired by famed antiques dealer Axel Vervoordt’s castle in Belgium: “I wanted a smaller version of that, a beautiful objet-filled space where people could hang out while tasting.” At Ma(i)sonry, visitors can perch on couches and chairs while trying wines from Blackbird and boutique wineries like Lail Vineyards and Brown Estate Vineyards.
Other pieces are from noted contemporary designers, like Sonoma’s Ron Mann, who made the 36-foot-long California redwood table in the garden, and Alexandra von Furstenberg, who designs Pop Art–like neon Lucite consoles. Ma(i)sonry has already won over one notable neighbor: Superstar chef Thomas Keller, whose French Laundry is less than 200 yards away, will cook private dinners there.