It’s not like anyone ever needed another reason to visit Napa Valley, and yet one has arrived in the form of Faust Haus, which opened this week in bucolic St. Helena. This Victorian farmhouse was built in 1898, once served as a Prohibition-era cellar, and has long been sitting vacant against the backdrop of Howell Mountain. A three-year restoration has transformed it into a tasting room and resting place for visitors to the Faust winery, which is known for a Cabernet Sauvignon, organically cultivated at its vineyards in nearby Coombsville, that could convert even the most Cab-averse.
Architecture firm Aidlin Darling Design is responsible for the Haus’s more highfalutin trappings, which nod to the winery’s namesake. In the German legend made popular by Goethe, Faust sells his soul to the Devil before eventually finding redemption. At Faust Haus, guests will wander among lower floors characterized by dark, moody rooms that are conducive to heavy thinking (and drinking). But by simply climbing up a winding staircase wrapped in a wall mural by the Italian artist Roberto Ruspoli, they find—bingo!—the light. Or, rather, respite in a series of airy, loft-like living rooms and terraces.
The smart interiors were masterminded by Ona LeSassier of Maca Huneeus Design, and they are studded with unusual ephemera such as conceptual photography by Lindsey Ross and midcentury tapestries. But it’s the outdoors that are the main attraction, thanks to a series of garden rooms that were dreamed up by Surfacedesign.
Post-pandemic, the Faust Haus plans to offer a series of cultural events—lectures, exhibitions, performances, and the like. But, for now, only tastings—which follow every possible health protocol—are possible. Do you think you can manage?
Ashley Baker is the Style Editor for Air Mail