Set upon a highly visible site along Highway 29 in St. Helena, this winery is part of Brasswood Napa Valley, a mixed-use wine and food complex. Our challenge was to craft a signature experience for the winery, while maintaining a level of simplicity within a busy destination. Since the winery is visible from the road, we were mindful of its visible impact from the cars. It was also important to preserve the many trees on this wooded site, particularly the three old-growth oaks that partially screen the winery from the road.
We began by careful placing the winery between the grove of trees behind it and the three oaks in front. The building’s long, low profile is topped with a green living roof that becomes the most visible volume from the street, blending into the landscape and softening the winery’s visual impact. The single roofline is broken only by the silo-shaped extrusion, which houses the tank room. Repeated patterns in the trellising and slim columns are designed to create a subtly-shifting pattern to observers as they drive by and, by a trick of the eye, the silo seems to slowly turn.
The long, barrel-shaped building accommodates all of the winery’s functions, with production on one side and hospitality on the other. The glass walls lining the front facade of the hospitality areas fold back to form indoor/outdoor spaces. The wall of the production side, curved to echo the silo, is comprised of structural glass, allowing visitors a glimpse into the production areas.
The winery’s stucco walls are punctuated with stone accents, a nod to the many historic stone “ghost” wineries throughout the valley. In a simple, but effective, organizing principle, all surfaces running parallel to the road are stucco, while the walls running perpendicularly are covered in stone. Adjacent to the hospitality area, the cave portal establishes an axis perpendicular to the building, which culminates in an entry court enclosed by low, board formed concrete walls that mirror the curves of the tank rooms.