Hall Pass, Please: Hall Winery, St. Helena
Updated: Aug 12
Hall Winery, in St. Helena, California is one of my favorite places to be. The winery is located just 60 miles north of San Francisco, but feels worlds away. Hall winery is nestled at the base of the Mayacama mountains in the Bergfeld Vineyard.
Bunny Foo Foo by Lawrence Argent
The entrance to the property is just off of Highway 29. To find it, look for the giant, polished, stainless steel, rabbit jumping out of the vineyard on one hind leg. His name is "Bunny Foo Foo" and he was created by sculptor, Lawrence Argent. The size of this sculpture is difficult to decipher from the picture, but Bunny Foo Foo is 35 feet tall (about as tall as a telephone pole)!
He loves to accessorize and is dressed for Easter in the photo above. He also dresses up for all other major holidays. If you happen to visit Hall winery during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, he is sure to be donning something patriotic. Bunny Foo Foo is just one of the many art installations on the property.
Viewscope by Alyson Shotz
The "Viewscope" is another. Each stainless steel tube in this piece has a different type of lens attached to it and a different focal length. I enjoy looking out at the vineyard through the various pipes to get differing and contrasting perspectives of the striking landscape.
Reflection of Life by Jesus Moroles
This long, rectangular, granite fountain is stunning. On a windy day, the water is active and flows over the fountain's granite edge, but when the water is still, it reflects the sky, the mountains and the trees. Either way, this is one of the most serene areas on the property to sip exquisite wine and reflect.
Garden Plot by Nick Cave
This tapestry is made entirely of recycled, beaded and sequined garments. The sheer scale of the piece is breathtaking. When standing in front of it, the top of my head only reaches the bottom fifth of the piece. You can view it from many different angles as you ascend the stairs to the tasting rooms. No matter how many times I study it, I always find some new and dazzling component.
The Bergfeld Array by Russell Crotty
These globes are made from fiberglass and then coated with special, archival paper upon which the artist draws or paints, using the mediums of ballpoint pen, acrylic, gouache and watercolor. Each globe depicts a different aspect of the California landscape.
Untitled by Tristano di Robilant
These hanging lights, created by artist Tristano di Robilant, are made of blown glass and can be viewed hanging above the dining table in the Founder's Cellar. The orbs represent the various states of glass, from liquid to solid.
The installations featured in this post represent a small portion of the pieces on the property. Be sure to take time to wander the grounds when you visit, to see them all.
This winery is beautiful in every scenario -- whether there are clouds overhead, ...
... a near deluge, ...
... sunshine during the day ...
... or a warm fire at night.
And while the art and the grounds at Hall Winery are spectacular, the wine is the real reason to visit. Hall specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon which they source from 13 of Napa Valley's 16 appellations. Hall's polished wines are made in a classic Napa style; fruit forward but not jammy, with really lovely, integrated tannins. Their wines are meant to taste great young but can also age very well.
Outdoor Member's Lounge
There is no dearth of excellent Cabernet to taste here, as they have 19, each with a personality of its own. And if Cabernet Sauvignon isn't your thing, they also make a lovely Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
Walt Winery Tasting Room
Hall Winery also owns Walt and Baca wineries. Walt's tasting rooms are located in downtown Napa next to the Oxbow Market and in downtown Sonoma in the plaza.
Walt is known as one of the leading producers of Pinot Noir (my favorite varietal). Their pinot noir grapes are sourced from Anderson Valley and the Central Coast in California, and from Willamette Valley in Oregon, capturing some of the best grapes along 1000 miles of the Pacific Coast. Baca Wines is the most recent addition to the Hall family of wines. It was started by Kathryn Hall's daughter and specializes in Zinfandel.
If you live close to the winery, membership is a great option. If you choose to join, you will get tasting privileges at Hall of course, and at Walt and Baca as well. Hall is a special place that draws wonderful people. In fact, some of their members are my favorite people and closest friends. I hope you get a chance to visit.