An Invitation from Handwritten Wines

If one is familiar with Yountville, over the past five years or so, there has been a noticeable and distinctive re- imagination of the town as a cultural hub of the  valley.  The  latest  enhancement is the handsome new ‘forever home’ for Handwritten Wines at 6494 Washington Street, fondly dubbed “SOYO House,” a nickname for South Yountville.

Among the admiring observers of the changing Yountville scene is Philip O’Conor, Director at Handwritten. “Within our team, we talk a lot about Yountville as a community—a special place where people can sit on the porch with a tasty glass of wine, pass the time and watch the world go by. Now we’re excited to be adding to that relaxing feel with this new Handwritten Wines tasting room.”

Bursting with pride on the heels of a classy New Year’s Eve party to welcome the dawn of a new decade, SOYO House flung open its doors to the public on the second of January 2020.

Guests enter an inviting space that’s thoughtfully designed to be quite unlike a typical wine tasting room. Don’t look for the walk-up stand-while-you-sip tasting bar, because there isn’t one. Instead, a series of adjacent rooms modeled after a private home feel as cozy and comfortable as can be. The interiors are aesthetically appealing with a mix of antique and con- temporary touches.

handwritten wine

Showcased in side-by-side comparative tastings, Handwritten focuses on hillside and mountain Napa Valley District Cabernets sourced from 2-acre blocks.

“Every detail is done to perfection,” said O’Conor. “Ten years after our first vintage in 2009, we had an opportunity to design a brand new place from scratch. It was a multi-year project, and we wanted to be sure it adds up to a good feeling, a destination spot that frequently comes to mind for a return visit—not unlike the kind of ‘place where everybody knows your name.’”

Feeling peckish? SOYO House has a kitchen that’s just large enough to support a developing culinary program. O’Conor, with his background in fine dining, describes his vision for the menu. Bites at the Handwritten Wines tasting room are designed to explore the notion of terroir when it comes to free range produce as well as terroir that applies to grape vines.

“It begins with the cultivation of some partnerships with Yountville’s great restaurants. We’re doing simple things that resonate with my Swiss upbringing, such as delicious fresh bread with beautifully curated French butter and cheeses from Oliver’s in Sonoma County recommended by my wife who is a cheese monger.” From England, Italy and Spain, there will be premium artisan cured meats from humanely raised heritage breed imports via a domestic producer called La Querica, a Good Food award-winner.

Underlying the Handwritten Wines tasting room concept? It’s simple and it’s enticing: Rather than hurrying through a tasting session, guests should enjoy being in the moment…because time passes pleasantly with a lovely glass of wine in hand.


FOR MORE INFORMATION // 707-944-8524 6494 Washington St., Yountville


Article By: Laurie Jo Miller Farr // Photo By: William Bucquoy