Napa-based Chandon just unveiled Chandon Home – a completely redesigned wine tasting destination that features reimagined tasting spaces and experiences both indoors and out. It’s big news, in large part because this is not only the winery’s 50th anniversary (they’ve been crafting bubbly in California since 1973), but also because this is the first complete renovation to the winery since they opened their doors in 1977. President of Chandon, Arnaud de Saignes explains the process, “While the official unveiling of our Chandon California Home is perfectly timed to our 50th anniversary year in Napa Valley, it took us three years to enhance the beauty of our space and renovate our Home, creating new elevated culinary and sensory experiences with our wines as the hero.”
The winery brought in California-based architect Linda Taalman of Taalman Architecture to lend the spaces a seamless sense of relaxed luxury and integrate nature at every level. They also incorporated select California artisans to imbue the new Home’s décor and furnishings with native style. The new Chandon brings guests a tempting list of ways to enjoy their bubbly – from private cabanas and lawn picnics to masterclasses and tastings under the stars. But, most exciting might be the dining experience which takes place in the completely renovated former Étoile space and is now called the Epicurean Hub. Étoile opened in 1977 and was once Napa Valley’s only fine-dining restaurant located within a winery. It closed in 2014 after 37 years – the debut of Epicurean Hub marks the beginning of a new era of restaurant-style dining and in-depth culinary experiences at Chandon Home.
Epicurean Hub’s setting is all about the views as walls of glass line the space, opening up into panoramic garden views. Beginning in November, the Hub will feature a five-course farm-to-table (this is California, so farm to table is practically a requirement) prix fixe menu highlighting the best of local provender paired with the premium Chandon sparkling and still wines.
For an al fresco experience, consider the Under the Oaks tasting for 2 -12 guests. You’ll be squired to one of the newly designed private decks tucked in and amongst the winery’s Oak trees. Here, guests are invited to lounge and enjoy the scenery while accompanied by a winery host who will guide you through a relaxed al fresco tasting of current release wines and a selection of off-menu library cuvees paired with bites from Chandon Home chef.
Larger groups will also love the winery’s new Sailcloth Cabanas – safari-like tents that look out over the winery. Tuck into one of the lounge chairs and sip on magnums of Chandon Brut Rose and a selection of family-style dishes prepared by the Chandon chef. If you just want to make your own fun, reserve a take-your-own picnic and enjoy in the newly landscaped Chandon Garden; they’ll prepare a basket of traditional French nibbles including salad and dessert as well as a bottle of the zero dosage Chandon Chant des Cigales.
The courtyard is open daily for walk-in tastings if you don’t have time for something more elaborate. No matter what tasting experience you choose, you’ll get a nice sense of the beautifully refreshed winery’s ambiance. And, Napa is the first renovation of many planned. Chandon properties across the globe are all planning transformative locally-inspired renovations in coming years. “All of our global Chandon brand Homes apart from the newest two – Chandon China (2013) and Chandon India (2014) – are in the process of renovation, for the same reason we renovated our California Home,” Says de Saignes, “Every year we host a little bit more than 400,000 guests, visitors and Club Chandon members in all of our Homes worldwide. When they step inside, we want them to understand the family resemblance: the things all our sparkling wines and Homes have in common. We also want them to feel the powerful local variations that sing of the individual variety, terroir and cultural context. We are ready to tell our story, host in the inclusive, informal, and spontaneous way we do best, and to create lasting memories as we go.”