The Prisoner Wine Company, artisan of the cardinal one affluence red alloy in the country, has opened a one-of-a-kind tasting allowance off Highway 29 in Napa Valley. Having accumulated a band afterward for their innovative, yet acutely attainable blends commutual with adventurous and annoying labels, the amplitude opens aloof a few years afterwards Constellation Brands purchased The Prisoner Wine Company for $285 actor in 2016.
Aptly aperture their doors with an unlocking commemoration against the acceptable award cutting, The Prisoner Wine Company offers curated aliment and wine adventures in accession to The Makery, an immersive amplitude that supports artisans in the bounded community.
The Tasting Lounge
Most new wineries today go for the warm, cozy, and rustic-chic look, but not The Prisoner, which thrives on the unconventional. From the outside, the slate-colored architecture with an arty and anxiety aperture exudes gothic vibes, but it’s abundant brighter on the inside, acknowledgment to an 8 x 57-foot skylight in the alveolate beam (all the assignment of SF-based artisan Matt Hollis).
“This cast is all about remaking the rules, so It fabricated faculty that the home of the cast should be non-conforming as well,” said Brigid Harris, Property Director of The Prisoner Wine Company. “As a result, we put a lot of anticipation into remaking the rules accompanying to the attending and feel of the tasting space, as able-bodied as the wine tasting experiences.”
Blending automated and affected elements, Napa artisan Richard Von Saal fabricated use of raw, refurbished materials, like reclaimed wood, decayed mirrors, and metal from the adjacent Mare Island argosy shipyard. In a sea of aphotic tones, red is the alone pop of color. Without actuality too obvious, he brindled bastille syms throughout the space; if you attending carefully enough, you’ll apprehension shackles, balls, and chains in the broiler and he advised a alternation of bar lights afterwards the top allotment of the electric chair. Von Saal additionally drew afflatus from The Prisoner wine labels. Wired chairs, for instance, answer the Francisco de Goya sculptural painting categorical on the Thorn label.
Outside there’s a courtyard, appropriately alleged The Yard, with added tasting nooks, active walls, throne-like cobweb chairs, and a bank congenital with abstracts reclaimed from the above Bay Bridge. A copse afire oven will serve up collapsed breads and broiled vegetables in the future. The Yard additionally has a gender aloof bathroom, one of the aboriginal to be begin at a Napa Valley winery.
You won’t acquisition a big, dank cabernet sauvignon here. Prisoner focuses on castaway grapes like charbono and chenin blanc, which are difficult to acquisition in the cabernet sauvignon-dominated Napa Valley of today. In chase of these somewhat-forgotten varietals, Prisoner ally with added than 80 baby growers in Napa Valley, in accession to addition 50 in wine regions aural a two-hour radius.
“One affair that’s abundant about The Prisoner is there are no rules,” said Director of Winemaking Chrissy Wittman, who aing the aggregation in 2016. “If you see article out there, a appropriate acreage or lot of grapes, we accept the abandon to accomplish wine out of it and put it in the bottle. It’s altered and that’s what it’s all about, showcasing wines you don’t see every day.”
The Prisoner offers three tasting experiences. The Lineup Tasting ($45, catch not required, but recommended) takes abode in the lounge or courtyard and appearance a curated alternative of wines with a baby bite. The Lineup rotates regularly, but as an archetype may accommodate the Syndrome rosé, Snitch chardonnay, Eternally Silenced pinot noir, and Thorn merlot.
Those attractive for a added animated acquaintance can accomplish an arrangement for a tasting in The Makery. The clandestine tasting amplitude doubles as an empiric exhibit that supports bounded makers. For $65, The Makery Journey (reservation required) includes a bout of the tasting lounge, comestible garden, and The Makery, followed by a tasting of bristles wines. The Makery Acquaintance ($125, catch required) additionally includes a tour, but comes with a five-course aliment and wine pairing. Winery chef Brett Young curates a card of adventurous flavors in dishes like a dupe cheese agnolotti (with Tahitian squash, chanterelle mushroom, and smoked egg yolk) and A5 Wagyu beef rib eye.
The Makery is a abiding arrangement of The Prisoner Wine Company’s traveling Makery Experience, which launched three years ago. Held so far in six cities beyond the country, these one-night pop-up contest accompany bounded artisans calm in one place. “When we began envisioning the aboriginal home for The Prisoner Wine Company, we bound absitively to accompany that abstraction to activity in the space,” said Harris. “The abundant affair about this abstraction is that we accept the befalling to appoint with the bounded association and businesses that allotment the aforementioned affection for creating that we do.”
One of the aboriginal things that greets you central The Makery is a ample skeleton, which aloft afterpiece ascertainment is a unique, alternate art allotment alleged Ash Dancer from featured artisan Angelio Batle of Batle Studio. At the centermost of The Makery sits several geometric metal tables, which can be disconnected calm to anatomy an automated arrangement of a acreage table. There’s a ample accessible kitchen at the far end with a brace of collapsed screens for accepting a afterpiece attending at the action. The two stalls that abut anniversary ancillary are the maker spaces, area a accumulation of adopted bounded artisans affectation and advertise their work.
The makers will circle quarterly, but for the aperture months, you’ll acquisition aggregate from delicate, handmade adornment and all-natural, artisan soaps to jellies and salts fabricated with The Prisoner wine. On affair with The Prisoner brand, St. Helena ceramicist Amanda Wright created a accumulating of atramentous and gold ceramics articles with jailbait bedrock appearance like zippers, spikes, and buckles.
The Prisoner Wine Company is accessible daily, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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