Rooms With A View
Food & Wine|February 2019
Rooms With A View

Next-level tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma match incredible wines with exuberant design.

Jen Murphy

WINEMAKER NOAH DORRANCE has one decree when he builds a tasting room: It should feel as comfortable as his own home. “You’ll never see a bar or faux Tuscan decor,” he says adamantly. For his first winery, Banshee, his wife Kelly codesigned a space in downtown Healdsburg, California, furnished with a distressed leather couch, mid-century modern swivel chairs, and a record player and vinyl collection. “I hoped the absence of a tasting bar would make the experience feel less transactional and more social,” says Noah. The low-key room did exactly that. Friends lounged for hours, sharing bottles of Banshee’s Sonoma Coast Pinots and Mordecai blend. That laidback vibe struck a nerve, and now it can be found throughout California wine country in more diverse tasting spaces reflective of both the wines and their producers’ personalities.

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February 2019