I love art even more than I love food and booze, which is why I had to make a stop at the Hess Collection winery in Napa. Not only do they make some awesome estate wines, owner Donald Hess is also a prolific art collector.
Works from his vast collection can be found throughout the world, but there is a small gallery of impressive contemporary work that can be viewed for free on the estate.
Unfortunately, taking photos or video of the art is not permitted, but I can assure you that it’s worth driving up Mt. Veeder for both the art and a free tour of the winery. Still, I came here to taste some wines, and for only $10 I got to sample their 2008 Mount Veeder Chardonnay, 2007 Artezin Dry Creek Vally Zinfandel, 2007 Hess Collection Mount Veeder 19 Block Cuvee, 2007 Hess Allomi Vineyard Cabernet and the 2006 Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet.
While all the wines were good, I highly recommend both the 19 Block blend (74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Malbec, 4% Syrah, 4% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot) and the Mount Veeder Cabernet (86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, 1% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot).