Decanter Magazine is a monthly publication focusing on fine wine. I was commissioned to illustrate a map of the Silverado Wine trail. It will be an illustration to go with a travel article on driving along the Silverado Wine Trail visiting wineries on the way.
The Silverado Trail that runs from Napa to Calistoga in the north of the valley. It’s named after an abandoned mining village, celebrated in the 19th century by Robert Louis Stevenson. You won’t find the same proliferation of wineries as on Highway 29, but at least you can drive in and out of them. The Trail hugs the eastern flank of the valley, with hardly any traffic lights to impede the flow. It’s also provided with cycle lanes for those who wish to combine hedonistic winery visits with gentle exercise.
Duckhorn – “The tasting room occupies a spacious house just south of the Trail…relaxing atmosphere, either indoors or on the verandah”
Joseph Phelps – former cattle ranch; gorgeous redwood winery houses a spacious visitors’ center, and a fine terrace overlooks hills and vineyards; also have an in-house chef (Brian Sutton, not named here)
Quintessa – “beautiful Rutherford vineyards, and the swooping stone-faced winery set into the hillside”
Miner Family – Rhône varieties; “its tasting room is rarely crowded and the staff are only too happy to chat as well as to pour”
Robert Sinskey – “all tasting flights are accompanied by nibbles prepared in the adjoining kitchens, often by Dr. Sinskey’s daughter-in-law Maria, who has written cookbooks about seasonal food”; “Most of the grapes are estate-grown and farmed biodynamically or organically”
Stag’s Leap – “airy tasting room, with its stone walls and plate-glass windows with views onto the vines. Visitors are also welcome to view the bucolic scene from the terrace.
Gazing onto the SLV and Fay vineyards, glass in hand…”
Silverado – “The winery and lofty tasting room are perched on a knoll giving fine views of the valley and its vineyards”
Chimney Rock – house
Darioush – “…glorious, yellow-stoned, neo-Persian extravaganza of columns, porticoes, and fountains, all leading towards a lofty pillared visitor center” (which may risk being clichéd, but is probably an inevitable choice…); otherwise “tastings can also be organised in the shady gardens”
Black Stallion – “huge tasting room, a former equestrian center”; Gaspare Vineyard near the winery
It was insightful to draw this particular map for Decanter magazine, it gave me an insight into the Napa Valley wine region, It is one of my travel dreams to drive through America, I am going to add this route to my bucket list destinations.