“In the beginning, the winery did not have a permanent home and existing entitlements were expiring at the resort that housed their first tasting room. The company knew it was time to make big changes and in 2012 acquired Vintage Oak Ranch, a twelve-acre horse ranch near Oakville, California. Oakville has the first American designated viticultural (study of grapes) areas. B Cellars expanded the 10,000 gallon winery use-permit the previous owners had the rights to but never built. The ranch and its 180 degree view of the heart of Napa Valley was a sweet spot for a vineyard.
“We worked pretty hard to see that come to fruition,” Keys said. “It’s unsettling for a business as well, not having certainty. In today’s business world you need alternatives to the alternatives.”
Enter Hart Howerton, a firm Keys already had a relationship with as they had done work for his previous employer, Four Seasons… Their philosophy is a combination of long-term outlook and market-driven solutions with an interdisciplinary practice that places them among the leaders in environmentally responsive development.
Steel beam construction was used throughout the project. The cave and all the new construction were tested only a week after the winery opened in August 2014, when a 6.0 earthquake hit the area. The earthquake broke a few bottles and the winery lost power for a day, but it suffered no further damage. “B Cellars was very fortunate to have been designed by Hart Howerton, a San Francisco-based architect, and built with the latest earthquake standards. The fact that the winery sustained no structural damage is a testament to the quality of the construction,” said Keys.”
Read the full article at Innovative Design Quarterly