Luna Takes Tasting to the Next Level

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luna_vineyards.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Napa Valley’s Luna Vineyards is over the t-shirt and ball cap concept. Rather than the routine merchandise for sale at so many wine country destinations, the Silverado Trail winery’s recently revamped tasting room features high-end wine accessories available for purchase (think pewter wine funnels and bespoke cheese knives) inside elegantly lit, “Tiffany-like” display cases. Luna’s fancy new merch is a far cry from the generic goods for sale elsewhere on the tasting trail, and – if you ask me – evidence of a welcome new direction for winery wares. New Layout, New Luna
But the changes at Luna extend well beyond the display case. Thanks to a radical recent overhaul by Santa Rosa-based design firm Ireko , Luna’s tasting room now features what an Ireko rep calls a “clubby, salon-like atmosphere” that caters to visitors who like to linger and engage in one-on-one conversations with tasting room staff. Indeed the space – which comes off as equal parts classic Italian villa, upscale hunting lodge and cigar bar – features intimate seating areas for tasting and chatting in lieu of the traditional sidle-up-to-the-bar concept. It’s a layout I’ve always wished there was more of in wine country – mimicking, as it does, the way that we actually enjoy wine in our real lives – and a logical evolution in tasting room design. Other wineries would be wise to follow suit, particularly those catering to discerning clientele who’d rather – after lingering over their tastes – leave with a classy wine funnel than another t-shirt any day.