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A new winery popped up in Napa last year and we are welcoming them in with open arms. Ashes and Diamonds Winery is everything we want from a wine country escape: good wine, good food, and good feels, all wrapped in beautiful design, stamped with a yellow door, and topped off with a healthy dose of cacti. They describe themselves as a love letter to the Napa Valley of the 60s and wow, what a love letter it is! The mid-century modern decor and the desert-y landscape make us nostalgic for when 13% alcohol was the norm for Napa Cab and Palm Springs was in its heyday.

With Lauren Feldman at the helm and a youthful, wine savvy staff, it’s not just the beautiful architecture and design that have us fawning; their attention to detail and engaging hospitality was enough to make us want to quit our jobs and move in.This is all thanks to Kashy Khaledi: creative excecutive-turned-winery-owner. In a clear example of his business expertise and certain nod to his past in managing musical and advertising talent, he brought on local celebrities Steve Matthiasson and Diana Snowden to run the Ashes and Diamonds fermentation game. These vitis vinifera icons excel at crafting thoughtful wines that respect history and biodiversity in both vineyard and cellar. After tasting through the lineup, consider us akin to screaming fans at the front row of a Drake concert; we are fully bought-in.They have several different tasting experiences available ranging from $35 to $150, some of which involve seasonal, wood-fired cuisine crafted by their in-house chef, Emma Sears. There is life in this food.  You know you’ve come to the right place when something as simple as fresh-baked bread and hand-turned butter are the most epic thing you’ve had all week. We highly recommend the A&D wines and food experience but you can’t go wrong with the A&D experience (“elaborate meal” is in the description, need we say more?)

If ambiance and respect for the craft weren’t enough, Ashes and Diamonds looks to bring a broader cultural context to Napa with educational workshops, and collaborative events connecting wine to not only food, but music, art, and film as well. They’ve created an escape in Napa that speaks to today’s modern experience-above-all ethos.

Some of our favorite wines from the tasting:

The No. 1  “Vineyard 1” Cabernet Sauvignon is an homage to BV from the 60s. It’s bright-eyed yet age-worthy. It tastes as if your favorite band (Strawberry & Bay Leaf) got back together for a reunion tour and then surprised you with a new tune.

The No. 1 “Blanc” is a Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend sourced from Oak Knoll and Yountville. For those of us that prefer a more restrained style of white wine, this will hit all the spots. Super refreshing, it tastes like a good time with good people. It’s basically a warm Spring day in a bottle.

With Ashes and Diamonds you get the best of both worlds: all the things you miss about the past wrapped in a modern mindset. It’s what California wine country was at its best, and what it can (and probably should) be in the future.  

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