Napa Valley Arts in April

Get an eyeful of paintings, sculptures, and special happenings.

DO YOU... go on winery-focused daytrips for the libations or for the looking? Probably a little bit of both, we'll guess. You love to head into a tasting room and try the latest zinfandel, all while getting up to speed on the vineyard's new releases. And, at the same time, you're glancing about, taking in the winery's art collection, its vine-close sculptures, the giant carved cherub-packed fountain that dominates the property's long driveway. In short, wine regions are just about as famous for what's on the walls and in the gardens as what's in the glasses. Napa Valley appreciates this, and thus has designated April as a full month devoted to the region's visual arts. The cultural campaign has an easy handle to remember -- Napa Valley Arts in April -- and dozens of happenings, tastings, and spring-pretty to-dos. Tempted?

THEN MAKE FOR... Sterling Vineyards, which will spotlight the work of Jim Dallas, a San Francisco painter who uses "wine as a medium in his paintings." Intriguing. Or head to Silverado Vineyards for a gratis tour of the property's pieces -- that's on April 3. Holman Cellars will feature artist Ben Nelson, who considers "the industrial side of wine country." The topics and themes and varieties of expression are diverse, but, for sure, expect to see vino come up more than once as a centerpiece or a supporting player in a painting, either through subject or as part of the canvas-paint nexus itself.

OHHH, A MAP: Need something a bit handier than a list of what's happening at what winery when? There shall be a map. Keep in mind that while some shows'll be up throughout April, a few special events land on a single day, or clutch of days, only.

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