Story By: Fran Miller // Proprietor-Vintners Mario Sculatti and Trevor Mallett // Photos Courtesy of Vault Wine & Artifacts
Curating the Best of Napa
Originality within the world of wine tasting typically consists of tasting room architecture, ambiance, and perhaps innovative food pairings. But Calistoga’s newest tasting room, Vault Wine & Artifacts, introduces a unique concept to the Napa Valley wine scene. Along with an array of beautifully crafted, limited-edition wines to indulge by the flight, glass, or bottle, the Vault contains an amazing collection of historical antiques and artifacts from the wine industry. The combination is intended to inspire and connect people through wine and culture—an educational and evocative experience worth discovering.
Located in Calistoga at the entrance to Lincoln Avenue in the former Roam Antiques space, Vault is not your standard Napa Valley wine tasting venue. Both a wine collective and antique gallery, Vault features boutique wine brands that fly slightly under the consumer radar. Proprietors and partners Trevor Mallett and Mario Sculatti hand-select each featured vintner making sure that a selection of styles, varietals, and prices are represented. “We have selected each of our vintner partners because we literally love their wines, the quality is outstanding, and productions are very small and coveted,” said Mallett, who recently received his MBA in wine business from Sonoma State, where he also played Division II baseball.
One such brand is Stringer Cellars. “It can be very difficult for a small wine brand like mine to actually get my wines out into the public and in front of people without having a tasting room or winery of my own,” said winemaker Casey Stringer. “I’ve had my feelers out for a shared tasting room opportunity, and when I heard what Mario and Trevor were doing in Calistoga, I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. It’s great that they limit the number of represented vintners, so a bigger selection of our wine portfolio can be available to taste. I also love the style of the place.”
That style is both rustic and refined, as curated by Sculatti, former proprietor of Roam, who has spent years collecting significant winemaking antiques, such as a 12-foot-tall Roman press, vintage corkscrews, and a historic riddling rack table, all artfully displayed within Vault’s homey and inviting interior. “We are collectors of Napa wine and history,” said Sculatti, a fourth-generation Napa Valley native. “And we are fortunate to share the region’s history with our guests.”
Visitors will find cozy comfort in the tasting room that features leather Chesterfield sofas, club chairs, exotic carpets, captivating hand-blown glass lighting fixtures, and a solid copper bar. Large garage-style doors open to a 1200 sq. foot patio framed by maple trees. Walk-ins are welcome, though reservations are appreciated. Mallett and Sculatti plan to host a series of special events, such as quarterly movie soirees, produced by local filmmaker and wine educator Vanessa McMahon, their first of which featured Bottle Shock, as well as a post-movie Q&A with the film’s producers who attended.
“This is a truly distinctive tasting experience Up Valley,” said Mallett. “The ambiance here is unique.”
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