Hailing from Pennsylvania, our clients loved the look of traditional horse barns. They wanted to work with us to translate the barn vernacular into something that felt at home in the Napa Valley. As a team, we wanted to avoid a typical barnwood or white clapboard style. Our challenge was to translate a traditional barn form into a more contemporary, and less expected, architectural language.
To avoid the typical barn form, we turned to the rustic architectural traditions of western mining communities for inspiration. Simple and unadorned, this corrugated metal building set atop tall concrete foundation walls creates a striking silhouette on the hillside site. Yet, clad in rust-colored metal and earth tones, it also peacefully communes with the site and landscape. Broad overhangs cover a wraparound porch, which provides shelter from Napa’s hot summers and winter rains. Inside, exposed wooden beams throughout the hospitality areas soften and warm the space, creating a lodge-like experience that, with its soaring ceilings, feels just a little bit like a church.
Steep roofs and tall, barn-like internal spaces create a clean and efficient backdrop for multilevel work in the production area. We worked hand-in-hand with Philippe Melka, Brand’s consulting winemaker, to devise a design that utilizes gravity to move the grapes and juice through the winemaking process from level to level. A lift system moves the wine from fermentation tanks to barrels and another moves the aged wine from barrels to bottling.
In the hillside nearby, a custom-crafted elmwood door pivots open to invite passage into the 6,000-square-foot cave.
In 2020, the interiors were renovated by St. Helena-based Erin Martin, which motivated us to rephotograph the project that same year.