For 35 years, Newton Vineyard has valued sustainability in all of its practices, from estate design to each step of the winemaking process, and to celebrate Earth Day, it's releasing its latest Eco Chic collaboration piece, the Puzzle Tray, developed by Chicago-based designers Bruce and Stephanie Tharp of Materious studio.
I had the opportunity to try out the Puzzle Tray this morning, and its design is both clever and very satisfying in a tactile sense — I couldn't stop touching it and playing with each of the coasters that pops out of the walnut tray base.
Part of a limited run of 112 pieces, each tray has been made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified walnut wood, low-VOC glue, and mineral oil — all of which is food safe. The Puzzle Tray reflects Newton Vineyard's dedication to sustainability and the winery's personal background as well.
The tray's basic shape represents the golden rectangle, a traditional Western concept of harmony and proportion, while the symmetrical crosshatching is based on a Chinese motif, which reflects the Chinese-influenced architectural aesthetic of the estate as well as the specific block-like look of Newton's vineyards. The tray's "puzzle pieces" pop out and can be used as coasters for wine glasses, while the remaining recessed portions of the tray can be used to transport wine and glasses or food pairings — the smaller nooks are perfect for holding nuts or sea salt, while the larger are great for grapes, fruit, cheeses, and bread.
Keep reading for a video explaining the tray's design, as well as a look at the gorgeous estate!