Art gifts

World-class art and wine pairing • The Nob Hill Gazette

“Pumpkin” by Yayoi Kusama welcomes visitors to a building designed by MH Architects at the Donum Estate. | Photo courtesy of Donum Estate.

In Carneros, customers can enjoy sips and carvings in a spectacular setting

Amidst the vineyards and pastoral farms of southern Napa and Sonoma counties, the heart of Carneros is the same shape.

Richard Hudson‘Love Me’, a polished, reflective steel sculpture, rises majestically on a central hill in the Donum Estate. It’s the centerpiece that leads to the big question: is the Donum Estate an open-air art gallery that grows and produces wine – or is it a winery with a brilliant art collection surrounded by vineyards ? The answer is both. After all, wine and art are so intertwined on this 200-acre canvas of Carneros, where Jaume Plensa“Sanna”, a stoic and calm female head who stands almost 40 feet tall, appears when the doors open upon arrival.

“Donum is about community, and we bring together people who share common passions for good wine, cultural arts and sustainability,” explains the CEO of Donum Estate. Angelica by Vere Mabray. “From accessing Donum’s collection of world-renowned art, to tasting our fine wines, to learning about our biodynamic farming practices, every guest at the Donum estate experiences a unique and safe opportunity to experience those complementary elements that have made our Carneros property an international destination. ”

Originally a dairy farm, the winery got its start with a 2001 vintage. However, it wasn’t until a decade later that the current Hong Kong-based owners May and Allan Warburglaunched the Donum Collection, transforming a remarkable winery into a captivating tandem of art and wine.

There are currently over 50 works, mostly outdoors, representing a wide range of styles and provenances. The assembly goes from Ugo Rondinonecolorful stone sculptures in the nuns + monks large bronze series “Pegasus”, by Ernst Billgrenwhich would find its place in the royal garden of a European capital. Ai WeiweiThe stunning ‘Zodiac Heads’ are the highlight of any visit, with 12 Chinese zodiac animal heads surrounding a garden of daffodils.

Donum produces 13 pinots noirs and five chardonnays as well as a sparkling wine and a rosé. |Photo courtesy of Donum Estate.

In December, the indoor gallery – for rooms that need to be protected from the elements – gained a notable new occupant: “Rehearsal”, a wall sculpture by El Anatsui, made of aluminum liquor bottle caps and copper wire. It is housed in the same space bathed in natural light as Louise Bourgeois“Crouching Spider”, a sprawling steel arachnid that watches the vineyards.

Domaine Donum has barely finished increasing its presence in the world of art and wine. Later this year, a wine tasting pavilion designed by Studio Other Spaces co-founders, artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastien Behmann, will be revealed. The structure is located on a small hill, offering striking views of the landscape as well as the outdoor sculptures.

Not to be outdone, Donum wines are beautiful, elegant examples of pinot noir and chardonnay influenced more by the cool San Francisco bay winds of Carneros and less by the sometimes modern and eclectic art of collecting. . With 13 different expressions of Pinot Noir on offer, the varietal takes on many different types of tasting notes and textures across the estate’s vineyards. For example, the 2019 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir exhibits aromas of ripe red fruit, while the East Slope Pinot Noir from the same vintage is a leaner wine with distinct notes of blackberry and rustic earth.

Combining nature, wine and art, the entire property is a multi-sensory retreat away from the hectic noise of the real world. But for a real escape into the mystique of this corner of southern Sonoma County, head to the eucalyptus grove on the grounds. While Keith Haring‘s “King and Queen” has been moved nearby in order to accommodate the upcoming pavilion, this is a site-specific installation in the grove not to be missed: Doug AitkenThe “Sonic Mountain” features 365 suspended stainless steel pipes that ring to the rhythm of the Carneros breeze. Here, the terroir of Donum is more than what produces terrific pinot noir – it also holds incredible artistry.