May 2012

Artistic Expression


“The Puzzle” tray features ten removable pieces that function as coasters or serving plates. The tray is available at off-premise accounts in markets around the country, including San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and New York.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Peter and Su Hua Newton, Newton Vineyard was a pioneer of sustainability in Napa Valley. After selecting a parcel of land atop Spring Mountain, the founders discovered that the hillside terroir offered the opportunity not only to create wines that express pure Napa fruit in the style of great European wines, but also the chance to harness the landscape’s topography in a way that preserved the natural ecosystem and left Newton’s wines pristine.

Since 2009, the winery has channeled its sustainable roots into the Newton Vineyard Eco-Chic design program, a series of collaborations with green-minded designers and artists who have taken inspiration from its unique philosophy and commitment to sustainable winemaking.

Bruce and Stephanie Tharp stamp the base of each tray with a specially-created branding iron commemorating the fourth Eco-Chic collaboration with Newton Vineyard.

This month, the winery will debut its fourth Eco-Chic piece, “The Puzzle” tray crafted by Chicago-based design duo Bruce and Stephanie Tharp. The Tharps, who comprise design group materious, visited the estate during the fall 2011 harvest. Touring the Chardonnay cellar—a cave built into the hillside, which requires no electric temperature control—and the 112 carefully terraced vineyard blocks on Spring Mountain, the Tharps were struck by the foresight of Newton’s founders, whose commitment to harnessing rather than manipulating nature was visionary in the 1970s.

After visiting the winery, the Tharps channeled their experience into a functional piece that captures the winery’s scenic and functional topography. “The Puzzle” tray, crafted from Forestry Stewardship Council–certified walnut wood, combines form and function: Its bisecting lines evoke Napa Valley, while Newton’s terraced vineyards are reflected in a series of carved puzzle pieces, which can be removed to become coasters or serving plates by pressing on a beveled edge.

The limited edition of 112 Eco-Chic pieces, each hand-branded and numbered by the designers, was released in April, timed for Earth Day, and will be available in stores in select markets and via 

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