As soon as you pull up to the winery, you know things are done a little differently at Ashes and Diamonds. The mostly stark white buildings (designed by architect Barbara Bestor), one with a zigzag roof and the other with porthole windows, are a departure from the rather stodgy “Tuscan-esque” pastiche that dominates the Valley. All this mid-century design speaks not only to the architectural tastes of Ashes and Diamonds proprietor but also to the what's inside the bottles.Ashes & Diamonds is the brainchild of Kashy Khaledi, son of Darioush Khaledi (owner of Darioush Winery, also in Napa Valley, since 1997), who was a multimedia and advertising executive at the likes of Capitol Records, Live Nation, and MTV before he decided to delve into the family business. Just like the rather obscure film from which it draws its name, his winery is rooted in the unconventional—something Napa Valley could certainly use as it struggles to attract a younger crowd.After spending years assembling collaborative projects in the entertainment industry, Khaledi decided to apply that experience when he opened his new winery. He enlisted some of Northern California’s most high-profile winemakers, Steve Matthiasson and Dan Petroski to craft the wines. After Petroski left he asked Dianna Snowden Seysses to fill his shoes. Fruit is sourced from the estate vineyard in Oak Knoll but they also work with some of the valley's legendary growers like Bart and Daphne Araujo. Khaledi sees himself and by extension Ashes & Diamonds as a conduit for all of that talent. “He understands art and craftsmanship, and how to create a space for people to work,” Matthiasson says of Khaledi. “And sharing a fascination for history and culture, we both look at vineyard sites as more than just geology, that they fit into a historical and cultural context. To be able to collaborate with other winemakers and hospitality pros that I respect was an unexpected bonus and it makes the project even richer and more compelling.”The wines are focused on the old-school style of classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon producers from the ’60s and ’70s, like Mayacamas, Robert Mondavi, and Inglenook.They never sacrifice elegance and balance for power. They are a celebration of Napa's extraordinary and diverse terroir that is more often than not masked by big fruit and oak soaked muscularity. Because of this, Ashes & Diamonds has landed on wine lists at some of the buzziest restaurants across the country, ranging from Spago and Jon & Vinny’s in L.A., State Bird Provisions, Petit Crenn, and Nopa in San Francisco and Cote, The Modern at Moma, and The Nomad in New York City. And generally speaking, besides the winery restaurants are the only places you can grab a bottle.
Cabernet Franc , Merlot , Red Blend
Fruity , Oaky , Rich