Frank Family Vineyards’ New Miller House
Napa Valley’s newest tasting destination opens in new Howard Backen-designed hospitality center featuring wine and food pairings
The Miller House honors the endless contributions of Founder Leslie Frank, born Leslie Miller, whose vision was to build a unique and special entertaining area for Frank Family guests. The Miller House showcases Leslie’s signature chic style combined with the farmhouse elegance of renowned architect Howard J. Backen. It serves as a canvas for the winery’s most exclusive and elevated experiences where Frank Family wines will be poured alongside the cuisine of celebrity chef Christina Machamer.
“Leslie Frank is a former Emmy award-winning news journalist who has long served as one of Frank Family’s visionaries. She also exudes good taste and hospitality, so we were resolute in naming the new space after her from the start,” says Hospitality Director Liam Gearity.
The Miller House rises over the vast Member’s Lawn, behind Frank Family’s Craftsman House-turned tasting room, inviting guests to taste their vineyard-focused wines and enjoy small, curated bites, while overlooking surrounding vineyards and mountains. Featuring sustainably reclaimed wood, high ceilings, and natural earth tones that bring the outside in, the space was expertly designed with no detail spared.
“Rich and I were actually married at this site,” says Founder, Leslie Frank. “This is a very special location for me. I wanted to create a space that integrated the natural beauty of our surroundings, where our guests could experience the joy of nature here in Calistoga,” says Leslie.
The Miller House allows guests to enjoy a seamless indoor-outdoor experience on the Napa Valley floor no matter what time of year. The 2,300-square-foot structure features floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, custom-made recycled ash wood tables, large statement mirrors, artful light fixtures, and an inviting lounge area with cognac-colored leather sofas around a central fireplace. Each element was thoughtfully selected by Leslie alongside Napa-based interior designer, Robin Beck of Hawkins Interiors to complete the space.
They combined the contemporary interior with an additional 1,100 square feet of exterior covered seating for tastings and private and winery-hosted events, where guests can be at one with the serene landscape of the valley.
Seasonal Wine and Food Experience
Chef Machamer has created a hyper-seasonal, authentic farm-to-table wine and food experience for guests of The Miller House. Each new pairing is hand-selected to demonstrate how the aromas, textures, and flavor profiles of
Frank Family’s estate-driven wines are accentuated by food. “I like to think of this experience as a masterclass on food and wine pairings,” says Gearity, who along with his team of experienced wine educators will guide guests through each pairing and take time to explain why they work well together, providing fundamental pairing tips along the way that can be easily applied at home.
The menu will be ever-evolving to showcase the season’s best, always highlighting locally grown ingredients, like home-grown Meyer lemon from Frank Family’s Winston Hill or mission fig picked from the centurion trees located at their estate Benjamin Vineyard in Rutherford. The tasting will start light with Frank Family’s Blanc de Blancs and perhaps a homemade yeasted blini with caviar and crème fraiche. The pairings become progressively more umami driven as the tasting moves into the reds—such as sliced Spanish Fuet with Winston Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. “We are excited to showcase our excellent wines with delicious food, and we hope each guest leaves with a heightened appreciation for pairing the two,” says Leslie Frank.
Chef Christina Machamer was the winner of season four of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen and is today one of Napa Valley’s preeminent chefs. She worked side-by-side with some of the world’s top chefs, including Gordon Ramsay and Thomas Keller, before launching her own business in the Napa Valley a decade ago.
The exploration of food and wine offered at The Miller House is ideal for private groups or for guests who enjoy meeting others with shared interests in food and wine. The Miller House Elevated Experience is now available at $120 per guest, $60 per club member. The outdoor patio is available for seated Estate tastings, $60 per person, complimentary for members. Reservations can be made online at FrankFamilyVineyards.com/Visit and private event inquiries can be made at FrankFamilyVineyards.com/Private-Events.