Jean-Charles Boisset, the playboy wine tycoon from one of the largest negociants in France has turned the classic Napa Valley estate into a grownup playground. From the “Theater of Nature” where Joe Papendick’s meticulous garden educates visitors about biodynamic farming to the Crystal Cellar where mostly naked mannequins swing freely from above the fermentation tanks to The Red Room, which you kind of have to see to believe. At the "blending room" you can play winemaker for a day with the help of Tyson, the Chief Blending Officer (yes, you get to wear silver metallic lab coats).
There are also bocce courts, doves, peacocks, a “winery” for dogs and an entire house where everything is gold. Sound a bit like Willy Wonka’s? Yeah, it kind of is. But for wine.
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Learn the Basics of Biodynamic Farming
There wouldn't be wine without grapes and there wouldn't be grapes without grapegrowing. Wine may be a luxury product, but just like any agricultural product, it all comes down to farming. There are many philosophies about the best and most sustainable way to farm and probably the most talked about and least understood is biodynamics. At Raymond Vineyards, the Theater of Nature seeks to break it down and make it understandable. The biodynamically farmed garden is small, but Raymond's estate vineyard is farmed according to the principles as is their sister winery in Sonoma, DeLoach.