“Whip it. Into shape. Shape it up. Get straight,” sang the New Wave band Devo in the 1980s. Today Gerald Casale, a founding member of the group—and a thoughtful, knowledgeable wine lover—is shaping up fine wine. He is proprietor of The 50 by 50 brand in the Atlas Peak AVA, named after a house on the property recreated from plans by Mies van der Rohe, a pioneer of modern architecture. The first release—Pinot Noir—is slated for late 2013.
“If there’s any one place to eat, it’s Terra—as good today, if not better, than the first time I was there. The crudo is incredible and they do decadent risottos.
“I like walking around Yountville. I’ll go to Redd Wood for pizza—I also recently had their pappardelle with ragout of rabbit, which was amazing. I love Bouchon Bistro—I’ll get some oysters, frisée aux lardons and a nice rosé. And I like Bottega tucked in the V Marketplace, which also has great shops.
“For wineries, just for the architecture and the insanity of the structures, go to Hess—that art collection is impressive. I think everyone should see Chateau Montelena for the history of the building and because ofBottle Shock. Also visit CIA at Greystone and Opus One.
“In Calistoga, Indian Springs Resort has a semi-funky series of bungalows with the hugest hot springs pool. Eclectic people hang out there late at night with the steam rising. It’s bohemian, hipster… and reasonably priced.
“The town of Napa isn’t just a side street any more. I like Kitchen Door, Carpe Diem Wine Bar andCeladon—lovely courtyard. For music, few venues compare with the look and history of the Uptown Theatre. People can see and hear performances no matter where they are seated. Devo loved playing there.
“Finally—at sunset it’s so much fun to drive along the Silverado Trail.”