If you're on the hunt for a new favorite winery, hold on to your socks: you may have just found it. Brand new to the scene, after undergoing a full property transformation during 2016, Liana Estates formally opened its doors on October 1st. Although the winery is newly opened, its roots have been firmly planted in the wine industry for two generations. Liana estates is the passion project of sisters Lisa and Ariana Peju, who grew up surrounded by their family's successful and well-known Peju Province Winery. Liana Estates is a true blending of Lisa and Ariana's creative vision, and the name 'Liana' is a portmanteau of the sister's names.
Though immersed in the family business for quite some time, Lisa and Ariana always knew they wanted to open a winery of their own; the question was: where? They knew the space they chose had to be special and they waited patiently for the right space to become available. Once they set eyes on the current property, everything clicked.
"When we walked onto the property, we just knew. We had been waiting and looking for so long, never wanting to make the wrong decision, but we both knew that this is where we wanted to be," said Ariana.
When the current property in Carneros became available, the sisters fell in love with the region and the views. They saw the potential in it from day one, and transformed it into the current tasting room and property within a mere six months.
Though six months sounds like an incredibly fast amount of time, it was filled with both challenges and successes. Given their ties to Peju, the biggest challenge they faced was distinguishing themselves as their own brand. Through creativity and a true belief in the new ‘Liana’ brand, they were able to quickly and easily inject their own style into everything they did with the winery.
“Growing up on a vineyard and helping our parents with the winery, the wine industry has been a huge part of our lives since we were kids,” said Ariana. “With Liana Estates, Lisa and I were inspired to create our own concept that reflects our love for fine wine while also incorporating creative programming to provide a completely new wine experience.”
Liana has been able to successfully set itself apart by its unique wine offerings and experiences as well as its innovative aesthetic. Liana Estates partnered with their designer, Lauren Pique Designs, who was able to execute the vision flawlessly as well as bring many of her own amazing ideas to the table. The tasting room is a testament to this unique approach to the design, as it captures the beauty of the outdoors in a modern, fresh indoor space with an industrial and natural aesthetic. In the spirit of creating something that begins in the field and ends in a glass, the Tasting Room flanks the production area and open views offer guests the opportunity to be a part of the process from start to finish. Design touches that reflect the various textures and elements of the land are found throughout, such as rusted metal bar carts; a leather banquette; large concrete tile; metal bistro tables; blown glass light fixtures; a rollup garage door; and reclaimed wood walls made with wood from the Peju family’s Pope Valley property. A mercantile store near the entrance features varying products from local purveyors, culinary provisions, private label olive oil, and chalkboard paint on the stairwell designed for local artists to add their own unique inspirations. The space will continue to evolve into 2017, with the unveiling of a second-floor private tasting space – the Wine Club Lounge – and a third-floor loft, so be sure to come back often and continue to watch the space evolve.
Taking cues from its stunning Napa Valley and San Pablo Bay backdrop, Liana has introduced immersive experiences which will evolve with the seasons, tailored to embrace nature and, of course, fine wine:
- Brunch and Yoga awakens the mind, body and soul while overlooking the scenic vineyard. The one-hour yoga class – designed for all skill levels – connects guests with the beauty of Carneros and is followed by a delicious local Carneros Bento Box Brunch paired with Liana bubbly. Offered Sundays from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. $90 per guest
- Local Wine and Culinary Picnic explores the many varietals of Liana Estates followed by a specialty picnic with Carneros-inspired culinary treats. Guests can select the perfect location to enjoy a basket of goodness with a bottle of chilled Liana wine. Offered daily from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. $120 per guest
- Bayview Barn Sunsets are the perfect way to begin an evening adventure. Nestled on the property’s signature hillside, guests can take in the natural beauty of Carneros while enjoying pours of Liana Estates wines paired with a selection of gourmet bites such as Artisan Sonoma Cheeses and Charcuterie; Las Amigas Deviled Farm Eggs; and Pt. Reyes Oysters. Offered Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 2-8 guests per reservation. $150 per guest
They offer an ever-changing selection of high-quality wines (yes, please!), including Carneros classics such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while also exploring unique and “lost” varietals, like Viognier and Orange Muscat.
Their daily wine tastings are offered by appointment in the Tasting Room starting at $35 per guest, as well as private events for groups. Current pours include:
- Brise Tasting features a Vintner’s White Blend, Viognier, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. $35 per guest; $45 per guest for groups of 6+
- Coriolis Tasting includes a Vintner’s Pink Blend, Dry Orange Muscat, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Vintner’s Red Blend. $45 per guest; $55 per guest for groups of 6+
“We knew we could create a space that people would want to stay in all day while sipping on delicious, high-quality wines,” said Lisa. “It feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere and the views are amazing.”
We couldn’t agree more with Lisa and if you’ve already been there, chances are you’re nodding your head as you read her statement. With unique experiences that span the day paired with the gorgeous backdrop, we can easily see how Liana can be a full-day destination. The WhichWinery team was present at the grand opening on October 1st and we were blown away, not only by the breathtaking views of the San Pablo but by the unique decor of the tasting room and incredible offerings. Cozily nestled within the rolling hills of the Carneros Region of Napa, once you've arrived you feel as though you've set foot on a true destination far from the familiar territory; you'd never guess it’s a mere 45 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
So the next time you need an escape, less than hour of time from San Francisco will transport you to wine country paradise where you’ll sip on delicious wine as you enjoy the scenery surrounding you. Whether it’s a weekend visit or a weekday getaway (after all, rolling hills that spill into the horizon sure beats your office view), take advantage of the new Napa destination that has everyone talking. We’ll see you there!