Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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.

12 comments:

Patricia Gray said...

That table is stunning. Can't say that I have had the pleasure of tasting the wine from this vineyard, but I bet it is as impressive as the table!

Style Court said...

Patricia -- eerie. I have that image of the yellow chairs against coral-ish walls. Stumbled across it last week.

Your friend sounds fascinating.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Patricia - always a good excuse to try wine!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - Caroline took all of the pictures but that one and the first one. (I am now realizing I did no photo credits; vacation is doing me in.) When I was double checking my notes on line I came across the yellow chairs and could not resist.

And Caroline? Totally amazing. You might remember if you glanced at the Kansas City design quiz a while ago that her college advisor was Condeleeza Rice. And that is only the tip of the iceberg. And again I will tell you, she's lovely.

Karena said...

What a gorgeous setting, and I love, love the fireplace and bergere along with Toms table!
Artichokes Gallery (Megan Sutherland is a partner) Opening Reception on Friday evening July 15th will feature two of my new works of art (along with many other great artists. Please join in for fun music and refreshments!

The Peak of Chic said...

That table is gorgeous. In fact, it looks like the whole place is!

Alex said...

Stunning vineyard house. That table would be a geologist's dream...super cool looking. I too was eye-balling the yellow chairs...hmmm?

pve design said...

hmm, anything would taste nice there.
I can already think of many adjectives to describe the wine, "lively" - "earthy"
"well -rounded" ----
Looks like a pleasant spot to taste away the hours.

Toby Worthington said...

May we assume that Thomas Britt designed the room(s) along with the table?

Mrs. Blandings said...

Toby - I do think that's correct - I'll double check with Caroline and let you know if not.

Cote de Texas said...

You are such a wonderful mother. Your boys are truly lucky.

Joni

Mrs. Blandings said...

Toby - from an email from Caroline -
"Tom Britt was the designer but he works with my Aunt and Uncle in a really collaborative way, and truly they feel like he is a family member and he does feel the same about them. Elizabeth is probably the most creative person I know who is not a designer. She is astounding. She and Clarke sourced a lot of things for the room, but the table and many other pieces were from Luciano in Carmel before he closed down & were found by Tom."

btw, being "the most creative person I know" if you are Caroline, is something indeed.