Artesa Winery: come for the architecture

The architecture, artwork, and views at Artesa are truly impressive. The spacious tasting salon with floor to ceiling windows, designed by  Barcelona architect Domingo Triay, offers fantastic views of the gently rolling Carneros hills, elaborate fountains and sculptures.    

My winery tour, which I was looking forward to, was sadly not on par with the surroundings. Our tour guide did not know much about Artesa’s Spanish roots (the parent company is a centuries-old Spanish cava producer Codorníu) or the winemaking process.

Next time, I would just come for the architecture, the views, and the art (attention, Gordon Huether fans). I would probably skip the tasting and get a glass of bubbly or one of the Pinot Noirs. With a glass in hand, I would stroll around, enjoy the art, and soak in beautiful Californian vistas from the terrace. For that, no appointment is required.

Fountain in the Artesa Winery, Napa Valley

Artesa was founded in 1991 as a sparkling producer by the oldest Spanish cava maker Codorníu. Today, the winery’s main focus is on still wines – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and less common varieties Albarino and Tempranillo. Artesa no longer makes sparkling wine on the premises.

Chardonnay and the reds were big and lush. I enjoyed the sparkling, Codorníu Napa Grand Reserve, made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in the traditional, or champenoise, method. It was a pleasant and refreshing sparkling with aromas of citrus, apples and pears.

Address: 1345 Henry Road, Napa. Open daily 11 am – 5 pm.