Founded in 1996, Quixote Winery is named after Cervantes’ Don Quixote, using the literary character as their muse to design the winery. The idea for this unique winery originally started in 1971; Ned Smith collaborated with Carl Doumani, who runs the historic Stags Leap Winery and estate, and they eventually built on the Stags Leap property Quixote Winery.
Quixote is the smaller of the two wineries but extraordinary in its architecture. It was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an architect from Vienna, who under his many accomplishments is also an artist, philosopher, and environmentalist. After Hundertwasser fell in love with the beautiful property and the quaint little pond that would be next to the winery, he declared there would be four rules that will dictate the design of this building: no straight lines, the roofs will be planted with grass and trees, every building is capped with a golden turret to elevate man’s sense of himself, and color is king. Upon final completion in 1998, Quixote Winery has accomplished just that.
The winery specializes in Petite Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. They package their wines with twist tops on their bottles, not corks, to make it more accessible for their customers. Their 28-acre vineyard is organic and farmed sustainably, producing 3,500 cases a year. Visits to the winery are by appointment only but well worth it. The ambiance and the architecture truly uplifts the wine tasting experience.