We’re famous! Well, kind of. While I was actually working on this post, I was alerted on Facebook that the San Francisco Chronicle had been at Ma(i)sonry in Yountville the same day that we were there, and we were the people enjoying wine in the sculpture garden! If you look closely at this picture, you can see me looking at my phone. Probably tweeting.
We arrived at Ma(i)sonry with the intention of making a tasting appointment for later in the afternoon. But when we were met at the door with glasses of Marsanne, we knew we were there to stay.
Blogging has afforded me many wonderful opportunities, but, as I say time and again, the people I have met are the absolute best part. On this tasting day, we happened to be traveling with a Napa Valley local who shared with us her insights on wine and places to visit, which is what brought us to Ma(i)sonry in the first place. Her knowledge of their wine collective made our tasting so special. It was a fun group, and I was fortunate to be brought along with them!
Ma(i)sonry is a stone building across from Yountville’s most famous property, The French Laundry. It is a winery collective, meaning that it pours wine from a variety of wineries and serves as their tasting room. That makes for a great chance to taste wines from many winemakers without leaving your comfortable seat in the sun.
Ma(i)sonry isn’t just a tasting room though, it is truly an experience. The building and outdoor areas also serve as art galleries. Guests are welcome to come in to admire the beautiful and interesting art, to taste wine, to relax with a glass of wine, at the pace they choose. Just make an appointment first!
The collection of art is eclectic, from paintings to books to furniture and sculptures, and while the inside of Ma(i)sonry is impressive, on a March day that was in the mid-70’s, we were most interested in the outside. The fact that there were some exquisite wines being poured helped that a little.
We received some fantastic hospitality at Ma(i)sonry from start to finish, and our tasting was really memorable because it was so comfortable. We were seated around an outdoor fire with options for sitting under trees or umbrellas or in the sun. I started in the sun but didn’t last very long! A little bit of shade goes a very long way for this New Englander.
Ma(i)sonry has many tasting options, and we decided to share a couple of their Blackbird Vineyards flights to start. Two tastings shared amongst five people was more than enough, and by the end of the tasting, most of us were club members. Several bottles of the Blackbird Arriviste Rosé also made it into our shipping box, and a nicely chilled bottle came along to lunch at Farmstead. More on that later!
During our leisurely tasting, we snacked on some local cheese, nuts, and crackers. Everything was delicious and of the best quality.
There was more wine, more chatting, and more wine-buying as the afternoon ticked on. I wanted to stay forever, soaking up the Napa Valley sun, blue skies, and mostly the way of life.
We finished our time at Ma(i)sonry with a cool, light dessert wine, I believe it was a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. Again, I was a good vacationer and a bad food/wine blogger. I know that I liked it!
Everyone at Ma(i)sonry is treated like a VIP; their sprawling garden area and private tasting rooms ensure the best hospitality and service, and the staff was wonderful with their knowledge of wine, the pacing of the tastings, and the warmth that started with our welcome and lingered throughout. One of the reasons we became club members was definitely the welcoming and special environment of the place; it’s not any old tasting room, that’s for sure! We look forward to visiting again and again , and I would definitely recommend Ma(i)sonry to anyone visiting Napa Valley. Maybe someday I will be able to drive over to Yountville to pick up my wine club wine.
It’s Wine Wednesday! Do you have any special plans for tonight?