Romancing the Stone

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maisonry.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Ma(i)sonry, Yountville's new antique-boutique-meets-collective-tasting-room, has all the makings of a hit wine country destination: historic building, stylishly edited surroundings, and world class wine. The newest project from financial exec-cum wine entrepreneur Michael Polenske, Ma(i)sonry artfully marries several of its founder's chief passions - art, home furnishings and wine - in a manner altogether a cut above that of most wine country destinations.
Maison Makes Perfect
Why a cut above?  Because Polenske pulls together diverse delightful elements - such as bespoke furnishings from the likes of Ron Mann and Alexandra von Fursterberg, world-class photography from Robert Bengtson and artisan wine from Blackbird and Lail Vineyards - and juxtaposes them so gracefully as to make you wish you could download a blueprint for entertaining/decorating/living รก la Ma(i)sonry, and begin following it to a t, stat. Of course, Ma(i)sonry is really more theater than tasting room, more set than home, and far more tactile than an art gallery - making it the sort of fantastical destination that's far more fabulous than the trappings of our real lives will ever be. Accordingly, this is why we go: isn't fantasy what wine country is all about?

Visitors to the expertly renovated, circa-1904 stone building are invited to sample wines both in- and outdoors (a fire pit roars outdoors during winter months), and linger for as long as they like while contemplating furnishings and art objects, all of which are for sale, natch. If you go, don't miss the Blackbird Vineyards Horizontal Flight ($35), which features four Napa Valley wines from the 2006 vintage, each based to varying degrees on Merlot, the winery's signature variety.

Open daily by appointment. 6711 Washington Street * Yountville, CA 94599

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