Auteur Tasting Room

Napa, California

Auteur Tasting Room

Just off the historic Sonoma Plaza, steps from The Girl and the Fig and the El Dorado Hotel, a small Craftsman bungalow is home to Auteur Wines, the ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producing brand founded and operated by Laura and Kenneth Juhasz.   The wine making couple speak of themselves and their approach to winemaking using terms like ‘boundary pushing’, ‘brave’, and their ‘need for discovery’.  The very name they chose means ‘author’ or ‘composer’.   You can taste it in their wines, and they exude well-grounded confidence.

Taking our cues from their adventurous nature, and the turn of the century bungalow they chose as Auteur’s home, we imagined a Hemingway safari-inspired landscape.  Future phases might include a campaign-tented tasting area in the rear garden, and a tilt-up window service bar at the existing detached garage. In phase 1, guests taste at the salvaged wood table crafted by Laura’s uncle, surrounded by existing Citrus and Oak trees and bamboo, and added lush plantings of Hydrangea, Daphne and Lomandra.  In the street-facing front garden, we underplanted the existing mature Southern Magnolias with fields of Lomandra, flanked by Pittosporum ‘Silver Sheen’ and Iceberg Roses.  Along the public sidewalk, a custom fence reminiscent of African or Southwest tribal livestock fences was crafted using reclaimed Manzanita branches from the clearing of another client’s site.

Landscape Construction: Carlos Landscape Inc.

Photos: Eileen Roche Photography