Swanson Vineyards

There's a lovely woman in Kansas City, a designer in fact, whom I know because she has known Mr. Blandings, well, basically his whole life. Caroline McCallister has the amazing ability to be warm and reserved and appropriate at all times. I saw her recently and was going on (and on) about the Mitford sisters and their extreme political views and she said, "Oh, Debo's not like that at all."

Having spent some time in England, Caroline happened to have met the Duchess. Which is remarkable mostly because she can tell you that without sounding icky. 

Anyway, she was telling me, when I paused to take a breath, about her recent trip to Napa and her aunt and uncle's vineyard.

Swanson Vineyards is producing small quantities of wine that can mostly be had by special order through the vineyard or in California, but what Caroline wanted to share was the tasting facility in nearby Rutherford.
Any wine would certainly taste better here, but the knockout piece is the geo-inlaid octagonal table. Designed by Tom Britt, who I have jokingly referred to as my friend, but is, in real life, Caroline's.

This is a wonderful spot to enjoy a tasting. I'm particularly impressed with the Vineyard's philosophy, "There are innumerable ways in which people relate to wine—and all are celebrated. Wine can be as complicated and nuanced as it is simple and refreshing. All palates and open minds are welcomed equally." If you book now you can be just in time for the press.  Cheers.