Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gardens of Darioush Winery, Napa Valley

Darioush Winery, Napa Valley, California - Shahpar Khaledi selected antique French Tunisian oil jars over 100 years old to nestle among the plantings. Their assertive forms enhance the garden design at the front of the winery.
Darioush Winery Architects: Nozari & Nojari, Santa Monica
Landscape Design: Sabrina Tanner of Proscape, Napa
Proprietors: Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi

Cast stone seating at the entryway, where visitors can take in the scenery before going forward to the visitor center to taste the Bordeaux-style wines. The estate celebrates the Khaledis' Persian heritage in the ornate symmetry of the building's architecture, referencing Persepolis, and in myraid artistic details.

The organically farmed Darioush gardens use natural fertilizers made from sea kelp. Plants are selected for their ability to withstand the Napa Valley’s extreme temperature variations, with winter lows that reach 20 degrees to summer highs of 110 degrees. Looking across the winery building facade, you ‘ll see plants arranged to complement the building’s honey-colored imported Persian Straw Travertine. Apricot, orange and cinnabar with the a bit of blue here and there are prominent colors in a scheme composed of roses, succulents, lambs ears, Jerusalem sage, and Yucca specimens.

At the lawn's edge roses cosort with daylilies, flowering plums, bearberries, and cannas, native of Persia.
Tall, narrow maples and evergreen Thuja were planted to echo the archictectural columns. Dwarf Magnolia's stand sentry at the front lawn. Looking toward the vineyards, a color palette of purple and burgundy catches the eye.

Inside the visitor center, an eye-catching cascade takes center stage near the wine tasting area. The building's interior features rich detailing, in glazed tiles and polished stone, ceramics and floral color.

Along the driveway wind and heat resistant plants include lavender, roses, manzanita and society garlic. Alongside the winery entrance, pomegranates also native to Persia produce fruit that ripens in October. Tall, narrow maples and evergreen Thuja were chosen to echo the archictectural columns.

Surrounding the Darioush amphitheatre - Washingtonia robusta - Palms play off Pampas Grass.

George Altamura, the winery’s orignal owner planted olive trees on the property. Darioush now produces an Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from a blend of Frantoio, Leccino & Pendolino olives.


  1. What an impressive garden. I have never been a fan of Pampas Grass, but I just love what they did with it.

  2. This is truly a beautiful landscaped garden. The white pillars remind me of ancient Rome and the scenery is awesome.

  3. Well it looks wonderful, isnt it?. I mean the landscape, the design, flowers, foliage, pots, waterlily all really pretty. thanks for sharing this beautiful garden with us.

  4. Hi Alice, amazing and grand building and garden. I'm going to a wedding in a local winery this weekend. It will be lovely but I'm sure not on this scale. I'll try to take photos and also share. cheers, catmint

  5. California is like another country to those of us on the east coast. What grand gardens at these wineries. wow!!

  6. This looks like a little bit of transplanted Tuscany. Enjoyed the tour. Thanks!

  7. Helen
    I'm always thinking of Tuscany when driving through Northern California wine country. Glad you could accompany me on this mini-tour!

  8. azpl,
    The pampas grass is used in very dramatic ways, setting it apart from its usual profile. It's considered invasive in some areas, but I'm not certain if it's a definite problem around Napa.

    AB, MK, catmint, Janet,
    Somehow I replied to Helen before reading your comments...
    Darioush is one more example of the trove of garden travel destinations I can dip into in my own 'back yard' so to speak! Thanks for your comments - I enjoyed sharing this rather new destination winery.

  9. I wonder if they don't have any birds that feed on the pampas seed heads or if they actively discourage them. It's a plant I tolerate because the spugs love it but in this garden, for the first time, I see the beauty of the big frothy heads.

  10. I really like that stone seating. THe pillow and bowl make the simple seat so beautiful. I also love that simple but gigantic fountain. I don't usually like pampas grass, but yes, in this setting, it really sets a tone and almost ethnicity.

  11. Being half Persian I had heard of this winery, but have not had a chance to go there yet. After seeing your lovely post about it, it is now on my "Must See" list. Thanks

    Garden Delights blog

  12. Wow that was intimidating. LOL The place is stunning. Quite a damatic statement beautifully made.

  13. Well a winery would not have appeared on my list of possibles. The architecture is very impressive. I particularly like the rectangular water feature and the palms and grasses combination.

  14. Beautiful garden indeed. Elements are well thought and translated.... ~bangchik

  15. I agree with Azplantlady - I've never been keen on pampas grass, but it looks so perfect with those palms and the curved wall!