Top Real Estate Projects 2013: Cuvaison adds tasting room, barrel warehouse

NAPA -- The owners of Cuvaison Estate Wines originally conceived of their Carneros location as just an agricultural operation. However, later then decided to convert an existing vintner's office and laboratory at this site into a world-class tasting room nestled within the 390-acre property located at 1221 Duhig Road on the Napa County side of the Carneros winegrowing region.

Given the semiremote location and the long driveway leading to a series of developed facilities, potential winery visitors in the past often were discouraged by the lack of any visible hospitality presence -- sometimes turning around half-way.

To remedy this, the winery added a welcoming entry along with an enticing destination at the end of the road.

A new fence and signage announce entry and a metallic scrim -- with a subtle message added to the first building that comes into view -- encourages visitors to stay the course and continue their journey to the two new structures that now complete the existing winery campus.

The two new buildings, a tasting room and the barrel building, enhance the function of the existing production building and draw it into an attractive composition of three structures.

[caption id="attachment_84172" align="alignleft" width="450"] Courtyard behind the new Cuvaison Winery tasting room.[/caption]

Utilizing the language of forms and materials, the three buildings -- each with its own identity -- create a unified sense of place.

"The new tasting room, sited and shaped to take full advantage of dramatic vineyard and hillside views, quickly established itself as a popular wine country destination," according to Jay Schuppert, president of Cuvaison.

It accommodates both public and private tastings in separate rooms that can also be opened to each other and combined into a single unified space.

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