10 West Coast Wineries With Architecture as Noteworthy as the Wines They Produce
A weekend away at a vineyard doesn't have to be just about the wine tasting—rather, it should be an opportunity to escape to a beautiful destination complete with impressive modern architecture. So, whether you're a fan of a full-bodied pinot noir, a zesty chardonnay, or just great design, these modern wineries on the West Coast will soon be on your "go-to" list.
Location: Napa, California
Architecture: Barbara Bestor
Inspired by the iconic, modern architecture of Albert Frey and Donald Wexler, Ashes & Diamonds winery is a bright, white, geometric display that marks the cinematic valley landscape of rolling hills and vineyard rows. The winery consists of two rectangular buildings: A two-level wine production facility with an industrial aesthetic and large portholes that reference works by Frey, and a smaller, single-level, stucco-clad tasting room topped with a folded-plate, pavilion-style canopy that mirrors the valley hills and mitigates sunlight.
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Location: Newberg, Oregon
Architecture: Lever Architecture
Located 45 minutes from Portland on a picturesque 23 acres, L'Angolo Estate is a family-owned winery that was designed by Portland-based Lever Architecture and completed in 2016. The firm tackled their first winery by creating a sleek and modern tasting room experience that embodies the family’s minimalist approach to winemaking.
Location: Oakville, California
Architecture: Piechota Architecture
San Francisco–based firm Piechota Architecture created a net-positive water tasting room and production facility for the small, family-owned Silver Oak winery in Alexander Valley. Water—which plays a key role in wine production—also figures prominently in the design, with a large, rectangular reflecting pool that cuts its way through the black, barn-like tasting room. Clad in wood siding repurposed from 100-year-old wine tanks from Cherokee Winery (and salvaged by Robert Mondavi, a Napa Valley pioneer winery), the wood-and-steel material palette of the wine cellar references the construction of a wine barrel.
Location: Dundee, Oregon
Architecture: Waechter Architecture
To create Furioso Vineyards, Portland–based Waechter Architecture renovated and expanded a pre-existing winery and added a new tasting room with additional public amenities. Located in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, the original Furioso estate was made up of "a series of disconnected utilitarian structures scattered across its property," including a steel-shed winery, various storage facilities, an outdoor crush pad, and an adjacent residence—all of which lacked an overall identity. Waechter sought to unify the vineyard and refocus buildings to heighten vistors' experience of the surrounding landscape and the wine-making process.
Location: Dundee Hills, Oregon
Architecture: Allied Works
The Sokol Blosser family, one of the founders of Oregon’s wine-making industry, has been producing pinot noir, pinot gris, and other varietals since 1978. When the winery commissioned Allied Works to design a new tasting room and event space for the 100-acre estate, they devised a structure composed of three interconnected volumes to showcase the surrounding landscape and spectacular views of the Yamhill Valley. The new tasting room incorporates a number of green features and is the first winery in the U.S. designed to comply with the key components of the Living Building Challenge.
Location: Rutherford California
Architecture: Walker Warner Architects
Located in Napa Valley, Quintessa, a family-run vineyard, turned to Walker Warner Architects to create modern wine tasting pavilions that blend in with the bucolic California landscape. They wanted the structures to offer protection from the sun, wind, and heat without disturbing the land or coming between the visitor and the vineyard. Walker Warner Architects' response was a series of three 250-square-foot open-air structures, set amongst the oak trees overlooking the vineyard-covered hills and the lake beyond.
Location: Paso Robles, California
Architecture: BAR Architects
Situated on a 55-acre site with full panoramic views of the breathtaking countryside, Law Estates Wines' architecture reflects the wine-making characteristics that distinguish them from other producers in the Paso Robles region. Much like their focus on showcasing the natural characteristics of each varietal and the specific territory in which they were grown, the minimalist building responds directly to the natural materials of the site, its hillside topography, and the climatic influences of the sun and wind.
Location: Napa Valley, California
Architecture: Signum Architecture
Designed by Juancarlos Fernandez of Signum Architecture, the tasting room for the BRAND winery creates a striking silhouette. Simple and unadorned, the corrugated-metal building is set atop tall concrete foundation walls, with a welcoming, wrap-around porch to shelter guests from the hot summer sun and winter rains that are characteristic of California's Napa Valley. Inside, exposed wood beams soften and warm the space, creating a lodge-like atmosphere.
Location: Napa Valley, California
Architecture: Herzog + De Meuron
Private and difficult to visit, Dominus Estate has also been dubbed "the stealth winery," as the structure is barely discernible from the foothills and vineyards. Completed in 1997, Dominus Estate was the first U.S. project designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog + De Meuron. The structure draws more inspiration from Miesian modernism and brutalist influences than traditional winery architecture.
Location: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Architecture: Olson Kundig
Proprietor Anthony von Mandl's latest project is a newly opened winery in British Columbia. Tucked into a steep hillside in the Okanagan Valley—which has the lowest rainfall of any wine-producing region in the world—the architecturally stunning Martin’s Lane was designed by Seattle-based Olson Kundig and boasts a dramatic structure made of glass, steel, and concrete.
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