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Winery as boho buzz factory

Sarah Berkley | Photo: Joe Budd | June 17, 2011 | Story Wine and Spirits Best of the Bay

Rarely have backwoods and bohemian gone together so well—or with such underground notice—as they have at Andrew Mariani’s two-year-old Scribe Winery. There’s scarcely more than a crude wooden sign to it off Napa Road in Sonoma, but rampant word of mouth among the city’s celebrity artists and artisans has generated a following that thrives not only on the wine but also on the loose party scene. The 256-acre property has a checkered history spanning everything from turn-of-the-century winery to bootleggers’ brothel to industrial turkey farm. The road in isn’t even paved; it’s potholed and dusty and tends to repel limos. The 28-year-old Mariani, his brother Adam, his uncle Andrew Avellar, and winemaker Kristof Anderson have vowed to preserve all the place’s wild quirks while raising chickens, pigs, bees, and fruit trees (the Marianis are big orchard growers in Winters). A winery is actually a farm, they contend. And it’s that beautifully broken yet productive setting that attracts so many artists, musicians (Andrew Mariani’s girlfriend is indie rock singer Lia Ices), filmmakers—and gourmands. (Mariani’s previous girlfriend was Fanny Singer, Alice Waters’s daughter, and chef-about-town Chris Kronner and Bar Tartine’s Chad Robertson, Mariani’s close friends, have been known to drop by just to create a meal from a forage in the garden.) Though the property and the friends have already starred in a Food & Wine spread and a Dockers promotion, Mariani hopes to keep the winery slightly under the radar. Weekend tastings book up, but to members of its viticulture club, which anyone can join, Scribe extends invites to brown-bag-lunch hikes, which periodically develop into crowded parties around the outdoor wood-fired ovens. 2300 Napa Rd., Sonoma, 707-939-1858


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