(Above: JaM Cellars has opened with a groovy rock-n-roll theme in downtown Napa )
The newest Napa and Sonoma tasting rooms are unveiling some pretty fancy spaces with a range of eclectic themes. Here are some brand new spots that will have you saying, "Sip, sip hooray!"
The wine may be mostly mainstream stuff—the focus is on the super successful, mass-marketed JaM (Cabernet Sauvignon), Butter (Chardonnay) and Toast (sparkling) from Napa Valley Vintners John and Michele Truchard—but the setting is hip and fabulous. The lounge's walls are covered in classic rock album covers, there's a private multi-track recording studio for guests, live and DJ music acts add their own jam, a disco ball glitters from the ceiling, and the whole place stays open until midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and until 2am on Friday and Saturday. Menu options include sliders ($10) and a cheese plate ($8). // 1460 First St. (Napa), jamcellars.com
Jean-Charles Boisset is nothing if not whimsically extravagant, and he's lent his Gatsby-esque touch to this over-the-top wine tasting room-slash-fashion and "lifestyle experience." Sip wines then browse the Atelier, a gourmet epicurean paradise for edible baubles such as cheese, caviar, and precious pâtés. Need more? The JCB Touch table is sort of a digital tasting hosts that identifies and explains each glass of wine as you place it on its surface. To drink: JCB N°21 Brut Cremant de Bourgogne. To eat: Rouzaire Coulommiers Brie and Rougie duck foie gras mousse with ice cider. // 6505 Washington St. (Yountville), jcbcollection.com
Yes, as in Yao Ming, former Houston Rockets NBA star turned winery owner. Yao recently debuted a hospitality center in the former Bello Winery space, spanning three private tasting rooms for sit-down adventures, an outdoor patio area, and general tasting space at a big oval quartz bar glowing with LED underlighting. Of course, there are display cases brimming with Yao sports memorabilia, and guided tastings are also available in Mandarin. To drink: Yao Ming Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. // 929 Main St. (St. Helena), yaofamilywines.com.
You probably know the Chappellet name as the owners of Pritchard Hill vineyard founded in 1967 in Napa Valley. The wine family acquired Sonoma-Loeb in 2011, and this May, set up an upscale lounge on Sonoma Plaza. Dressed in rich woods, dark metals, and an abstract sculpture made from reclaimed Chappellet estate grape stakes, there's an intriguing, industrial feel to this posh spot. To drink: Sonoma-Loeb Russian River Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir. // 27 E. Napa St., Suite A (Sonoma), sonoma-loeb.com