World-renowned for its wine and food culture, Napa Valley's vibrant art scene is too often overshadowed by the region's raison d'etre.
Develop your taste from the palate to the palette at these wineries and tasting rooms with museum-quality galleries and outdoor sculpture installations by such artists as Keith Haring, Ai Weiwei, Ansel Adams, Andy Goldsworthy, Yayoi Kusama, and more.
Ugo Rondinone, Nuns + monks (Orange Yellow Monk, Black Red Nun, and White Blue Monk). Painted bronze, various sizes, 2020 © The Donum Collection and the artist.
(Photo by Robert Berg)
On 200 bucolic acres, Donum Estate is notable for its chardonnay and Burgundian-style pinot noir crafted by winemaker Dan Fishman. But it's also a must-visit for its high-end sculpture park, an open air gallery that showcases more than 40 installations by major international artists.
Inhale the aroma of the grapes as you wander around Artificial Rock, a stainless-steel piece by Chinese artist Zhang Wang; take an astrological journey in the Circle of Animal/Zodiac Heads by AI Weiwei, located inside a zen garden-like space; take a selfie with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's Pumpkin; and play like a royal with Keith Haring's King and Queen sculpture, produced just three years before his death. More of the collection resides inside the Donum Home, including the Crouching Spider by Paris-born artist Louise Bourgeois, whose works appear at SFMOMA.
Even if you've visited before, there's always something new to see. Recent acquisitions include Rehearsal, a monumental wall hanging sculpture by Nigeria-based El Anatsui; Nuns + Monks by Ugo Rondinone; Doug Aitken's Sonic Mountain; and Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE sign.
This summer, Donum will unveil a new architectural gem: a hilltop tasting pavilion created by artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann's Studio Other Spaces. —Anna Volpicelli
// Open by reservation only by calling 707.732.2200; 24500 Ramal Rd. (Sonoma), thedonumestate.com.
Imagery Estate Winery
(Courtesy of Imagery Estate Winery)
Imagery Estate—founded by Joe Benziger and now fronted by his daughter, resident winemaker Jamie Benziger—infuses art into every facet of its winery experience. Imagery also directly with artists—so far, they've collaborated with 400 creatives and counting—to commission unique designs for their bottle labels. Of more than 600 artworks created so far, about 60 pieces are displayed for for viewed in the winery's onsite art gallery. The artists hail from all over the world, including Japan’s Shoichi Ida, Brazil’s Goncalo Ivo, and late American artist Sol LeWitt. —Sydney Fogel
// Walk-ins welcome 10am to 5pm Thursday through Monday; 14335 Hwy 12 (Glen Ellen), imagerywinery.com
Andy Goldsworthy's Rock Pools.
(Courtesy of Hess Collection)
Located above the tasting room, Hess Collection's modern-art gallery exhibits artists from proprietor Donald Hess' personal collection, curated over 40 years. The gallery currently features several pieces from environmental sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, who is well known among San Francisco hikers and art lovers for his Presidio installations Spire and Wood Line. Here, Goldsworthy's Rock Pools consists of large melted stones that he fired up in a kiln. A new addition to the Hess Collection is Super Wall Flower, by the late Alan Rath, which explores the intersection of the natural world and technology. —Jess Lander
// Open weekdays by appointment; 4411 Redwood Rd. (Napa), hesscollection.com
Cliff Lede Vineyards
Music, art, and wine collide at the Howard Backen–designed Cliff Lede Vineyards, where even the vineyard blocks are named after rock hits like My Generation and Dark Side of the Moon. The winery's swanky Backstage Lounge is a private tasting room and art gallery that celebrates icons of rock and roll and also has artworks for purchase by the likes of John Lennon, Grace Slick, and Jerry Garcia. As a bonus, this experience gives you a backstage pass to Cliff Lede's top, limited-production juice. Also notice the permanent collection of structures from artists including Kim Dine and Boaz Vaddia on the winery grounds. More interested in verse? Check into Cliff Lede's Erin Martin–designed Poetry Inn. —Jess Lander
// Tastings are available daily by reservation; 1473 Yountville Cross Rd. (Yountville), cliffledevineyards.com
(Courtesy of Acumen)
This downtown Napa tasting room comes with its own contemporary art gallery. Acumen crafts boutique wines from their organically farmed Atlas Peak vineyards, which can be sampled in this chic tasting salon complete with some repurposed art, like chandeliers crafted from steel tank heads and a bar from a fallen vineyard oak tree. In the back, the rotating gallery currently features Perception, an exhibit of artist Marc Foster’s three-dimensional metal sculptures that are meant to be viewed from various angles. Take a piece home as a memento of your visit. —Jess Lander
// Open 3pm to 6pm Monday through Thursday and noon to 6pm Friday through Sunday, reservations preferred;1315 First St. (Napa), acumenwine.com
Brasswood Napa Valley
(Courtesy of Brasswood)
This Wine Country campus has it all: a winery, restaurant, bakery, event space, and even an art gallery of rotating exhibits—previous displays have included works by Salvador Dali and the famous animal sculptures of French artist Cévé. This spring, see Sites and Insights 2022 (April 4th through May 1st), a showcase of recent photography by native Californian Gary Fishman. The gallery is open to all Brasswood visitors, just be sure to schedule your tasting experience in advance. —Jess Lander
// 3111 St Helena Hwy (St Helena), brasswood.com
The Gallery Bar is lined with the iconic black and white photography of Ansel Adams.
(Courtesy of Turnbull Wines)
Napa Valley's Turnbull is a landmark for lovers of architecture, design, and art, thanks foremost to its architect founder William Turnbull Jr., notable for his work on Sonoma County's iconic Sea Ranch. These days, art collector Patrick O'Dell, the winery's current owner, is curating the experience.
The tasing rooms and garden have been designed to show off O'Dell's incredible collection of photography, including one of the country's largest collections of Ansel Adams images as well as works by Ruth Bernhard, Imogen Cunningham, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and more. Expect to see 50 to 70 artworks on display at a given time. Sip a glass of Turnbull's signature Josephine Sauvignon Blanc while contemplating Abractions, the current exhibition of photographs by 23 different artists taken between 1897 and 2011. —Anna Volpicelli
// Open by appointment, 10 am to 4:30pm daily; 8210 St. Helena Highway (Oakville), turnbullwines.com.
St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery
(Courtesy of St. Supery)
This idyllic, French countryside-inspired estate—owned by none other than Chanel—pairs estate grown sauvignon blanc and cabernet with art. Visitors can casually wander up to view the second-floor gallery's contents, which rotate throughout the year. Recent exhibits have included paintings by artist Stephen Coyle, but this season St. Supery pays tribute to Everyday Heroes, which highlights local volunteers in fields of animal rescue, youth mentorship, mental health, food security, and more via 24 large-scale photographs by various Bay Area photographers. In addition, the gallery is also featuring solo exhibits for Keith Blodgett, John Comisky, and Sally Seymour. —Jess Lander
// Gallery is open daily, tastings are by reservation; 8440 St. Helena Hwy (Rutherford), stsupery.com.
Hall Napa Valley
Best known for the 35-foot tall Bunny Foo Foo leaping out of the vineyards on the edge of Highway 29 in St. Helena, Hall's not-so-subtle Lawrence Argent sculpture is just one of 35 seriously whimsical contemporary pieces you'll experience as you meander through the historic winery with a glass of vino in hand. Other works include a life-size, white camel sculpture by John Baldessari and a viewfinder by Alyson Shotz, designed with roughly 30 different lenses for a kaleidoscopic perspective of the estate vineyards. Want to dig in? Reserve the Wine and Art Exploration experience. —Jess Lander
// Open daily for tours and tastings; 401 St. Helena Hwy (St. Helena), hallwines.com
A piece from the Keeping Accounts series by Kate Solari Baker.
(Courtesy of Landmark Vineyards)
One of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, the quaint, 1895 Larkmead estate in Calistoga displays the artwork of proprietor Kate Solari Baker, who grew up in Napa Valley and started painting in the '80s. She's known for her multimedia art and pastel landscapes, some of which you can view in Larkmead's renovated historic barn. Her Keeping Accounts ledger collages are especially on theme; Baker created this series from the winery's 20th century ledgers that her mother kept, which she's incorporated into colorful vineyard landscapes. —Jess Lander
// Estate tastings ($125/guest) are available by appointment only; 1100 Larkmead Lane (Calistoga), larkmead.com