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Davies Vineyards tasting room also pours Schramsberg bubbly

“With its locally quarried stone exterior, the two-story building looks as if it’s always been there, but the Grayson Building, the tasting room in St. Helena that serves both the J. Davies red wines and Schramsberg sparkling wines, is brand, spanking new, and comes with a few ancient surprises sprinkled throughout inside.

“Guests of Davies Vineyards’ wine tastings will get not only an introduction to the Davies’ family wines – both their J. Davies Estate red wines and Schramsberg sparkling wines – they will also get to tour the building that could double as an art museum thanks to the display of some of the family’s treasures that include Navajo blankets, and headdresses from Peru and Chile, some that date to 500-800 A.D. They are part of the collection of vintner Hugh Davies’ parents, Jack and Jamie Davies.

“The reception desk greets visitors with a soaring entry that draws the eyes up to the first museum-glass cased Navajo blanket, circa 1865, that is woven with a serrated zigzag and diamond pattern in shades of red, green, slate blue, white, black and gold. Giant light fixtures made from metal barrel hoops, here and in the main tasting room, juxtapose the artistry of the blanket and the headdresses, three of which are displayed above the bar in the main room.
“The smallest headdress, the “Wari Pile Hat with Tufts,” dates to 500-800 A.D. and is about 5 inches high. It has tufted corners with iconography of bird-like figures and feline profile heads in opposing squares. Next to it is a fez-style headdress from the Incan period (1470-1534 A.D.) worked with alpaca fibers in white, blue, yellow, green, and red, topped by parrot feathers, and red and white feathers. Human hair pigtails that date to 900-200 B.C. are incorporated into the pre-Columbian Chilean headdress made of wool skeins in red, blue, brown and white wrapped in a turban form.
“There are two more rugs and another headdress in other areas of the building that has a little of the Schramsberg property incorporated in it with reclaimed wood decorating walls, and photos of the estate and vineyards throughout.

“An outdoor patio with comfortable shaded seating is surrounded by crated trees — some of which came from the Schramsberg property — and a fountain create a true winery experience, which is actually steps away from Main Street in St. Helena, and in what was once the parking lot of a car dealership.

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Anne Ward Ernst, June 7, 2017
Davies Vineyards tasting room also pours Schramsberg bubbly