Collection by Aaron Britt

Blueline at Hourglass Winery

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Back in 2009 former Dwell senior editor Sarah Rich made a short report on a visit to Napa Valley's Hourglass Winery's Blueline property. I had a chance to visit this past weekend and wanted to share a few more photos and a chat I had with Hourglass honcho Jeff Smith. San Francisco-based architect Olle Lundberg of Lundberg Design, Smith, and his wife Carolyn Duryea got construction underway in 2007, and now this decidedly modern winery--which you can visit by appointment only--is one of the rare modern gems in a region largely populated by erstatz chateaus and tawdry Tuscan revival architecture.

The winery itself is secluded from the road--the Napa thoroughfare Silverado Trail--but once you wind up the small...
There is no tasting room, no visitor center, and none of the typical physical embodiments of the Napa wine tourist...
True to that vision, the large concrete pad out front houses all kinds of wine-making machinery, like this massive...
Smith kept referring to the "knuckles" of Blueline Estate's production, talking about all the processes and apparatus...
Though most of the structure is build into the hillside--the result of 45 days of blasting into the rock--the dramatic...
We climbed up the hillside and Smith showed me that a UV coating on the plastic roof not only helps filter out the heat...
There are two entrances to the underground cave.
Jeff lets us in.
I couldn't resist this juxtaposition of the space-age Big Green Egg cooker and the very old-school wine press.
The 7000 square feet of cave space is marked by long, low rows of barrels.
Though I took the wine bottles embedded near the door to be an oenophilic touch from the outside, once I was inside I...
The most impressive part of the cave--beyond the wine we tasted straight from the barrel--was this room.
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