Jade lake and the surrounding gardens at Chateau Montelena Winery, Napa. Watercolor in handmade sketchbook.Jade lake and the surrounding gardens at Chateau Montelena Winery, Napa. Watercolor in handmade sketchbook. From my book Impressions of Wine Country.
With the 40th anniversary of the Paris Tasting coming up next month I thought I’d post some of my sketches of Chateau Montelena. As the story goes, on May 24, 1976, a wine tasting took place in Paris that changed the world’s view of California wines forever. The 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. and the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from California won first place in a blind tasting. I sketched this under a shady oak at the far end of the property looking back towards the Chateau. This sketch is from my book Impressions of Wine Country available on Amazon.
Sketch of Vince Tofanelli’s Vineyard located in Calistoga, CA. On this day, Vince taught me how to prune grape vines which is a fascinating process. From my book Impressions of Wine Country.
Sketch of Vince Tofanelli’s vineyard located in Calistoga (Napa County) just before harvest. Though Vince sells most of his grapes to wineries, he reserves a portion for his own label, Tofanelli Wines. They are some of the best I’ve tasted. Vince was nice enough to allow me access to his vineyards many times over the course of a year. I cover all the details in my book, “Impressions of Wine County.”
Chateau Montelena is a historic winery in Northern Napa County most noted for winning the Paris Tasting back in 1976. The winery grounds are a spectacular sight and loaded with ideal sketching opportunities! I spent two weeks roaming the grounds, sketching, and wine tasting for my brand new book “Impressions of Wine Country.” This finished sketch spreads across two pages in my book and one that I had to come back to three different times before finishing it. I never had one full block of time that was long enough to capture the old chateau in one sitting.
My new book is Available on Amazon.
Vince Tofanelli and I walked his mother’s vineyard this morning while he told me wistful stories of growing up. Afterward, I sat for a couple of hours sketching the property located in Calistoga (north end of the Napa Valley). The mustard was in full bloom and with the help of the warm sun, the air smelled sweet.