New Garden Conservatory
Brings More of France (and a Little Asia)
Domaine Carneros has for decades been bringing a taste of France to the Carneros winegrowing region, and now with its garden conservatory, the Jardin d’Hiver, it brings even more French architecture to its château.
The new terrace resides on the north-facing side of the landmark château, looking out to the hills of Carneros and Napa. It is the epitome of wine country views.
But the best part of the garden conservatory is that it is enclosed, so on those some what rare blustery days, visitors can have an elegant tasting of Domaine Carneros’ sparkling wine while protected behind glass doors.
The glass creates almost three full walls, making the room bright and airy—almost an extension of the outdoors. And here, while sitting in comfort, visitors can enjoy a special new wine and food pairing, the “Art of Sparkling Wine Pairing: Asian Bites with Bubbles,” which highlights the drinkability of Domaine Carneros’ library.
The new Asian-inspired tasting includes pairings of bay scallops in a spicy yuzu sauce with Ultra Brut, a fresh spring roll with Brut Cuvée, ahi tuna poke wonton with Brut Rosé, soba noodle and chicken salad with Vermeil Demi-Sec, and green tea pudding also paired with the Vermeil Demi-Sec.
This tasting experience occurs once a day at 11 a.m. for $85 per person, and visitors must make a reservation at least 48 hours in advance. Wine club members receive a 20 percent discount.
The garden conservatory and the Asian food pairings were conceived and executed by Eileen Crane, the CEO and founding winemaker of Domaine Carneros. Crane, who has been with the winery for its 31 harvests, said she wanted to highlight how well sparkling wine pairs with food.
Asian bites are not common in the wine region, so this pairing is a very unique addition to the offerings of the regions many wineries.
Crane said the garden conservatory’s design is based on glass buildings created by Gustave Eiffel in France in the mid-1800s, which incorporated a lot of Japanese art and style, including fresh, clean lines and the use of natural light. The Jardin d’Hiver incorporates custom-made curved glass, brass adornments, skylights, white marble tile and a beautiful fireplace.
“It’s modern, but classic,” she said.
The room is also acoustically pleasing. When it is full of people, the sound is well absorbed and it does not get too loud.
Of course, when the weather is great, sitting outside on the wrap-around terrace is a pleasant way to pass a few hours while sampling some wine or other small bites.
Other specialty tastings include a Chips and Dip experience, which pairs three wines with caviar for two.
Tours, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the traditional sparkling winemaking method employed by Crane and her staff, plus a sampling of sparkling and red wines, occur three times a day with a reservation. Wine Club members receive discounts on tours, tastings and access to a private tasting room which is open on the weekends.
For reservations, wine club information and more, go online to domainecarneros.com or call 800-716-BRUT (2788).