Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quixote Territory

While galavanting around Napa Valley, Ann got a heads up about a little known winery off the beaten track. She called and got detailed directions and we turned off the highway, down a narrow lane and finally came to the most unusual winery I've ever been to. Quixote was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, normally known for his unusual and colorful architecture in very public places. But the owner of the winery begged him to design his winery and Hundertwasser relented because he fell in love with the surroundings and the natural beauty of the environment. Hundertwasser insisted on these rules though:
  • No straight lines
  • Roofs are planted with grass and trees
  • Every building is capped with a golden turret to elevate man’s sense of himself
  • Color is king
Good on all four. But what I really loved about the design was the massive use of richly colored tiles.

The columns are constructed with large ceramic pieces that are made in Germany because lead is used to get the rich colors and we cannot use lead here in the U.S.

to quote their website: "The Hundertwasser design of our winery says it all; we’re here to give pleasure. With Cervantes’ Don Quixote as our muse, let us all explore the difference between appearances and reality and engage in the noble pursuits of a knight errant. " Isn't that enough to make you want to check it out?!

The front door is playful and whimsical and I felt like I was stepping in to a fun house of delights.

Here's the turret that elevates man's sense of himself. It didn't make me have more sense.

Even the sidewalks were wavy and topsy turvy.

I felt like taking a shower in this most wonderful of showers but thought it would be a bit much to ask of a winery tour.

It was too rainy to linger on the side patio but I could imagine sipping wine here on a nice sunny California day, looking out over the mountainside.

The landscaping was dotty and seemed to have the same amusing quality as the buildings.

Inside the wine making room it was all business...

But when peeking into the storage area where the wine is aged, I saw that the barrels were wrapped in colorful bands to mimic the colorful columns. We never did get to sample the wines, but what we really came for was the color and we were not disappointed.

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