Our brief was to create a winery and hospitality space for Booker Wines that would embody the ethos of the brand, and of its owner/winemaker, Eric Jensen. Set on 100 acres on the west side of Paso Robles, both the vineyard and wines are named after the site’s original owners - who had dedicated their lives to being great farmers, humanitarians and stewards of the land. In our design approach, we took our cue from Eric Jensen, a self-professed minimalist, and his belief that a fanciful winery and expensive gadgetry do nothing to make a wine better.
Our goal was to design a space that provides a casual, welcoming atmosphere for visitors, while reflecting Eric Jensen’s minimalist philosophy of interfering with the land as little as possible when crafting his wines. Eric first approached us with the goal of creating a place in the vineyard to gather. Essentially, he asked for a terrace and trellis, so that’s where we started.
Inspired by the visible fractures in the area’s chalky limestone soil, (which also form the inspiration for the brand’s Fracture label), we began to study the patterns created by the fractures in the soil. These patterns, in turn, became the basis for the laying out the walls, in direct relation to the land and views. Set at an angle to the vineyard, the long lines of the walls are oriented toward the views of downtown Paso Robles. Elevated so they do not compete with the rolling hills, the monolithic concrete structures -- open on three sides -- are straightforward and unassuming, lifted above the vineyards without dominating them and becoming an integral element of the landscape.