I’ve Never Seen a Place Like This

And I mean that quite literally.  Quixote may just be the most unique winery I’ve ever seen. We stopped at Quixote second on our Winos in a Limo day with Jo Diaz and her family, to check out more of the Petite Sirah the Napa Valley has to offer.  Quixote’s facility was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.  To say the design is colorful, whimsical, and unusual would be an understatement.  There isn’t a flat surface in the entire building (which we discovered upon sitting down in rolly chairs that immediately rolled away from the table) and the roofs are all planted with grass.

And then there’s the unusual artwork that adorns pretty much every wall and surface.  The only thing in common most of the artwork seemed to have is that every piece was different.  Owner Carl Doumani orginally owned Stags’ Leap, next door and eventually decided that it was time to start a smaller project.  Quixote has two labels, Quixote and Panza.  The Quixote label produces wines that are 100% of the variety on the bottle, the “reserve” line.  And interesting fact about the actual bottle label: It’s also designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser and takes a 17 step printing process to produce.  All of the wines (since 2001) have been bottled under screw cap.

Before tasting the wines, we wandered into the back yard to check out more of the Friedensreich Hundertwasser work and learned about how he came to be the person to design the facility and how long it took. It appears he was a bit of a perfectionest, always tinkering with the design to get it just so.  We all know I”m fascinated with lizards, so when we came upon this guy doing push ups (as Russ says) I had to get a photo!

We headed back inside to taste the wines and munch on some cheese and crackers kindly provided by Quixote.  (Good thing too, we were all getting a bit hungry by this point, having been on the road since early!)

Jo leans on the leaning wall.

2004 Panza Claret: $30.  This wine gets a slightly different blend every year.  Strawberry, plum, pepper, bright red fruit, raspberry, spice, strawberry, herbs, dry.  We took home a bottle (or two, I can’t recall).

2003 Quixote Cabernet Sauvignon: $50. Earth, blackberry, black cherry, red cherry, strawberry, herbs, white pepper, black currant, dark, roses, very peppery and full of currants.

2002 Panza Petite Syrah: $70. (Library wine) Chocolate syrup, blue, raspberry, pepper, cedar chest, flowers, violets, blueberry, vanilla cream, peppery, spice, nice fruit.

2005 Quixote Petite Syrah: $50. Dark chocolate, brown sugar, cigar, spice, floral, white pepper, raspberry, black fruit, blue fruit, licorice, caramel, blueberry.  We took one home.

Lastly, we learned that all the fruit is estate grown, on 27 acres of vineyards planted on the property.  On the way out, I had to take one last picture of the dome on top of the building.  I’m not sure if I would call it the most unique feature of the facility….really, how could I choose just one out of this building!


8 Responses

  1. I’m glad you liked it! Their PS is stellar. Did you get to meet with Mr. Doumani?

  2. No 😦 He wasn’t able to join us, sadly.

  3. My kind of place.

  4. It was quite the site to see Wine Label!

  5. Finally an image of me that I don’t hate…

  6. Great post.

  7. That is so funny. We just recently heard about this designer. Sheri and I were with our monthly tasting group and I think one of our more traveled members mentioned visiting a place designed by Hundertwasser. Of course, our hosts had also been to several places he designed and even had a book on the designer. Here’s a photo of our friend Steve holding the book. http://twitpic.com/5r8u2

    When you first posted this, I thought the designs looked familiar and your descriptions were like deja vu. I had to go back through all my photos and find that picture to confirm it was the same guy.

  8. Don’t be so modest Jo!

    Thanks Vinogirl!

    How random Eric! I had never heard of the designer before this trip!

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