An Artistic Touch From the Bottle to the Walls The Thorn Hill Vineyard tasting room is adorned with a gallery of contemporary art that's as interesting and innovative as the wine getting poured. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photos courtesy of Thorn Hill Vineyards
Husband and wife team, Amy and Jack Thorn.
“ I follow the meticulous practices of small lot, whole cluster pressing, de-stemming, cold soaking, extended maceration, barrel-to-barrel racking and bottling without filtration.”
When Thorn Hill Vineyards Winemaker Amy Thorn opened a new tasting room in September 2014, she became the only female winemaker with a tasting room on St. Helena’s bustling Main Street. Thorn Hill Vineyards is a family affair, owned by Winemaker Amy Thorn, her husband Jack, son Jonathan, and daughter Rachael. The family currently owns wine operations in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Lake County.
Thorn Hill’s chic new tasting room features award-winning wines produced from Napa Valley grapes. The family business produces small-lot, artisan wines including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Old Vine Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and a Petite Sirah Port. The wines also include a Brut de Prestige Sparkling wine that recently was awarded Best in Class at the California State Fair California Commercial Wine Competition.
When asked about her approach to winemaking, Amy says, "I follow the meticulous practices of small lot, whole cluster pressing, de-stemming, cold soaking, extended maceration, barrel-to-barrel racking and bottling without filtration. Every wine we produce is 100 percent single varietal."
And then there is the artwork. Celebrating highly acclaimed artists, the tasting room’s gallery walls are adorned with a variety of modern and contemporary art by renowned national and international artists, like innovative watercolor-on-silk paintings by John R. Clarke. "These masterpieces show incredibly vibrant colors, intensity, and depth," Amy says. "They’re highly collectable and really capture the soul of wine."
In addition to pouring wines by the glass or flight, the tasting room offers signature wine and food pairings, like cheese and charcuterie paired with chutney, and Sparkling wine paired with caviar or truffle potato chips. Locals and wine tourists alike are invited to come in, relax, enjoy a glass or a flight of wine, and pair it with light bites from the farm-to-table kitchen. Live music is also featured on Saturday nights during the summer and fall.
What to Buy Brut de Prestige - $32
Green apple, citrus, tropical fruits, baked apple tart, pear
Chardonnay - $32
Pear, green apple, hint of brioche, lemon-lime
Chutney, cheese and charcuterie plates, Sparkling wine and truffle chips, mini wine cake pairing, sensory wine experience, wine blending seminars, private events, and live music on Saturday nights.