Vineyard Architecture: California

Vineyard Architecture: California

Written by Johanna DiNardo

Prominent vineyards from around the world have sought renowned architects to design their facilities. Their goal: to make their visual facade as impactful as the first sip.

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In the second installment of our Vineyard Architecture series, we focused on three of California's most striking vineyards, where traditional European aesthetics meet Northern Cali innovation, resulting in spaces that complement the surrounding landscapes and climates.

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Craig Steely


photo: ©Craig Steely

OBSIDIAN RIDGE - Kelseyville, CA

OBSIDIAN RIDGE, in California, enlisted Craig Steely to build a tasting room that correlated to the winery's uncommon land and story. In 1999, Obsidian Ridge winery was planted on red volcanic soils shot with black obsidian (hence the name), among abandoned walnut trees, overlooking a dormant volcano. With commitment and belief in this unique setting for wine-making, these Red Hills are proving to be the next great frontier in Cabernet Sauvignon. Subject to strong Pacific winds, and blinded by mountain light, Obsidian's grapes develop thick skins, dark color and intense flavors.

 

photo: ©Craig Steely

photo: ©Obsidien Ridge

photo: ©Craig Steely

photo: ©Craig Steely

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Scott Johnson

photo: ©Opus One Winery

OPUS ONE - Napa Valley, California

OPUS ONE is described as the Rolls-Royce of Napa wineries. Designed by Scott Johnson, Opus One's grounds combine traditional European architectural elements and pared-down New World aesthetics. This melding of Eastern and Western is reflective of the historic story of its two founders. Baron Philippe de Rothschild, of France’s distinguished Château Mouton Rothschild dynasty, and Robert Mondavi, California’s legendary winemaking pioneer, embarked to create this ultra-premium label with this challenge: to produce a bona fide Napa First Growth, an unparalleled Cabernet to rival the wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank.

 

photo: ©Opus One Winery

photo: ©Opus One Winery

photo: ©Shuttershock


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Michael Graves

photo: ©Clos Pegase Winery

CLOS PEGASE WINERY - Calistoga, California

CLOS PEGASE WINERY was designed by Michael Graves, winner of an architectural competition for the commission, overseen by the San Francisco Museum of Art. Graves designed the winery with the grand portico entrance acting as a dividing line separating the southern side, focused on the production of wine, and the northern side, focused on the enjoyment of wine. The building design was meant to be “reminiscent of southern European agrarian buildings, which control and filter sunlight and relate to the landscape through their colors and materials." Beneath the surface, are the Caves that house the barrels in an environment proofed for aging, as well as a theatre which hosts dinners and live events. Out back, is the Heritage Garden where rare, drought-tolerant plants and trees live in a commitment to water-conservation. This impressive winery is also home to a fine collection of modern art, including works from Jean Dubuffet, Henry Moore, and César Baldaccini.

 

photo: ©Clos Pegase Winery

photo: ©Clos Pegase Winery

photo: ©Clos Pegase Winery

photo: ©Grant Mudford/Courtesy of Michael Graves & Associates

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These architectural vineyard masterpieces prompt some major wanderlust in the eyes of a fine wine connoisseur. What are we at LBV doing? Planning a trip to one (or all of them) as soon we get the green light!

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