Low-Key, Playful and Ready for a Glass of Cab: Steal These Outdoor Living Ideas from a Whimsical Napa Tasting Garden
A pair of former lawyers—one a vintner, the other an interior designer—transform a vineyard garden into a lively wine country hangout.
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Clara Jung, a San Francisco-based interior design and founder of the Banner Day design firm, met her client, vintner Lindsay Hoopes, through mutual friends in a past life—when they were both lawyers.
“A lot of people who are lawyers, like we were, like to imagine what their dream jobs would be,” says Jung, who made her own career fantasy come true eight years ago when she left a law firm to pursue interior design. When you see her work—like the re-design of the Hoopes Vineyard tasting room and garden—and see how full of joy and color it is, it’s not hard to see that she loves what she does.
Hoopes left her own career as a homicide prosecutor under different circumstances. She returned to the 10-acre cabernet vineyard in Oakville that her father, Spencer, planted in 1981, when he was ill and needed her help with the business. Today, the younger Hoopes often makes local “millennials to watch” lists while carrying on the family tradition of making award-winning wines. She’s put her spin on the business, focusing on bio-diversity and organic farm practices, creating an animal sanctuary on the property and inviting guest chefs to come in for cooking demonstrations. When she hired Jung to re-design the tasting room and garden, her priority was to make it homey, comfortable, and unpretentious.
“There aren’t that many female wine makers in the area,” says Jung. “So we wanted to play that up with a real feminine aesthetic, and create a lot of comfortable seating areas to make people feel like they’re guests in Lindsay’s home.”
The addition of an Instagram-friendly Airstream trailer, outfitted like a chic backyard cabana, was a top priority, and a challenge that paid off.
“It was a real trial and error experience,” Jung admits, saying that she cycled through a couple of contractors before she found someone who could help her customize cabinets to fit an apple-red Smeg mini-fridge, install mod brass light fixtures, and add a geometric gray and white floor.
Outside in the surrounding yard, there are different seating areas and groupings of mis-matched outdoor furniture and planters, and a vintage Malm fireplace. It’s as low-key as it gets, determined to maintain a casual rural Napa, anti-corporate winery vibe. A mix of bold stripes and quirky details adds plenty of whimsy—like the wine barrel tops affixed to the exterior of the building that add a graphic punch.
You can get a glimpse of the space without leaving home by signing up for Hoope’s virtual cooking classes. Next up: London-born, Oakland-based Juhu Beach Club chef Preeti Mistry and Lindsay Hoopes walk you through a couple of Mistry’s signature dishes. The $500 class comes with three bottles of Hoopes wine and a box full of ingredients.