Highway 12 travels right through the town of Sonoma, not to be confused with the Sonoma Valley AVA or the larger Sonoma County that contains it all. Yes, the word Sonoma is confusingly repetitive, which may be why many people refer to all these simply as “Sonoma.”
The Ink House represents the Boisset’s first Napa Valley restoration project together, but the couple has restored many buildings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including Chateau de Pierreux, La Maison in Vougeot, Louis Bouillot, and their family winery Jean-Claude Boisset in Nuits-St-Georges.
Nero Buono’s history is unknown. Claudio Gargiulo of Carpineti explained. “We are working with the village of Cori to find the DNA origin of the Nero Buono grape, but we have not found a relative, and it’s possible that none exists today. So, we are [literally] writing the history of Nero Buono now.”
The worlds of wine and art have been linked for centuries. Wine appeared in ancient drawings of vines and harvest in Egyptian tombs, the Renaissance brought paintings like Caravaggio’s Bacchus, and today wine still has the power to inspire artists. Both passions are associated with creativity, culture, and pleasure, and both express and evoke emotion—so naturally blending the two creates a heightened sensory experience.
That seems especially true in Napa Valley, where oenophiles and art experts often produce the perfect pairing. Here are five places to experience them together.
Riding the Wine Train is a combination of nostalgia and adventure; it is easy to imagine the amazement of the first travelers as they were wined and dined and entertained by the experience and views as they rode the rails. Today, the ancient train supplies modern conveniences like air conditioning, but the feeling of train travel during the time of the pioneers is still there. The difference lies in the miles of vineyards in every direction and mammoth world-class wineries lining the road as the train chug-chugs along Napa’s Vine Trail, whistle blowing as it passes crossroads along the way.
Less than 200 years ago, the winemaking industry did not exist in California. Pioneers and prospectors came here with dreams and the tenacity to build something new. This sense of exploration and innovation sets the American wine country apart in the wine world, and it melds well with two mainstays in Boisset’s life: wine and optimism.
The Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest is not, nor does it try to be, an event for the average food and wine lover. This is where true connoisseurs come to play, where elite wine collectors gather to share their very specialized obsession with like-minded folks such as legendary sommeliers Rajat Parr and Larry Stone.