The architecture of wine country
The buildings at winery can tell you a lot about a wine, and the people who make it.
f you want to get to know a wine without taking a sip, said John King in the San Francisco Chronicle, take a good look at the winery. “Wineries reflect different philosophies,” said Gilles de Chambure, director of wine education for Meadowood resort in St. Helena, Calif. “You’re telling a story about your collection to the land, and about your ambition.”
Napa’s Robert Mondavi Winery on Highway 29 in Oakville is “an unashamed homage to some mythical Spanish Mission past, complete with bell tower.” Architect Cliff May struck “a balance between modernism and make-believe,” creating an “otherwordly” yet “genteel estate” that “sits so comfortably on the land.”
Daryl Sattui built his Napa Valley castle to “showcase his Castello di Amorosa label, said Michael Martinez in the San Jose Mercury-News, but his “passion” for the building has clearly “run amok.” What was supposed to be an 8,500-square-foot structure has ballooned—thanks to Sattui’s “love of architecture and all things Italian”—into a sprawling edifice measuring 121,000 square feet with 107 rooms.
Sattui’s version of a Tuscan medieval castle has a dry moat, a dungeon, chapel, and a great hall with frescoes from ceiling to floor. Fourteen years in the making, the castle off Highway 29 was opened to visitors in April. “I don't want this to be Disney-like,'' Sattui said. "We're serious about wine.”
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