Standing 16 foot tall in a wide brimmed hat, as you drive into Napa Valley you will notice a rather large character. Quietly crushing grapes on the peak of hill, this gentle giant has become rather a landmark in this part of wine country, so we set out to discover a bit more about him.
Situated on the southern end of the valley at Butler Bridge, the Grape Crusher statue stands atop Vista Point looming over the vineyards as you ride Highway 29 towards the heart of the Napa Valley. He marks the entrance to the renowned valley vineyards, and has seemingly become a bit of a local hero, welcoming in visitors to this rich and abundant wine region. Designed by Santa Fe artist Gino Miles, this integral worker has been a part of the landscape since 1986 and is a tribute to the dedicated vineyard workers, celebrating over 200 years of grape growing. With an armour of bronze clothing, he weighs 6000 lbs and is set on a 10 foot base covered in river rock.
The Grape Crusher is an arresting icon, a blend of art and wine, a storyteller of the history and lifestyle in this area of California. We learnt that someone recently got married under the looming brim of his hat; now that’s a serious amount of love for the larger than life character. But if tying the knot is not on your list of things to do here, we still recommend you go climb up the small hill to have a look at him and the surrounding area. Then allow the Grape Crusher to wave you off as you venture further into the centre of this lush, bountiful valley.