True to the sense of bounty and calm that the California wine regions convey, Diane Dorrans Saeks writes, "Wine Country life is private, peaceful, undisturbed. Rural bliss soothes the mind. The Wine Country encourages simple wonder and gratitude." The inhabitants of the idyllic properties presented in California Wine Country must feel grateful indeed. This unbelievably seductive book of heavenly hideaways is divided into five sections: "Classic," "Poetic," "Rustic," "Collectors," and "Weekends." The Santa Ynez, Russian River, and Alexander Valley regions are explored, as well as the more well-known Napa and Sonoma areas.
Saeks sought out creative people--artists and art dealers, designers, restaurateurs--whose houses range from a splendid Venetian villa near Calistoga to a 12-by-16-foot tent (furnished with antiques) on the edge of a peaceful Sonoma lake. The interiors are magazine-perfect (not a cell phone or fax machine in sight) and true to the prevailing architecture, whether angular and austere or funky adobe. There is a Mediterranean-inspired lusciousness in every photograph: grapes spill from the vines covering a patio, rambler roses cover a wooden gate, and doorways invariably open onto hillside vistas complete with blue sky. The directory at the book's end includes design and furnishings stores, as well as bookstores with good design sections, kitchen equipment stores, and restaurant, hotel, and winery recommendations.
By Cathleen Medwick Diane Dorrans Saeks and photographer AlanWeintraub spent almost a year researching this understandably convivial book. Wine country has become a chic address for vintners as well as for fast-rooting nongrowers. House styles range from a hand-hewn barn whisked from the New Hampshire hills to the Santa Ynez valley to a colonial Australian farmhouse in Los Olivos. Interiors, whether rustic or refined, inevitably offer a place to sit and drink in the glories of the land.