Tankhouses are as romantic a vineyard visage as the rows of grapes themselves. There’s a whimsical charm surrounding the old vineyard tankhouses with their angled walls. Long before piped irrigation, farmers pumped water from shallow wells using a windmill-powered pump that would force the water up into an elevated tank. Gravity would then provide the water pressure necessary to irrigate the fields. The open space under the tank tower was often enclosed to provide either shelter for animals, as a toolshed or even a spare room. When piped water became available, the tankhouses were no longer needed.
Although many of these have been torn down, enough tankhouses still dot the landscape to maintain the flavor and magic of our wine growing past. When choosing subjects for her wine country landscapes, artist June Carey selects vineyards with distinctive regional character or ones that appear to have been cultivated by families for generations. “Vineyard Tankhouse” was inspired by the vineyards of Alexander Valley and combines a favorite subject of the artist with the low warm light of the end of day.