The first permanent road to connect the wine region from Napa to Calistoga, the Silverado Trail, is known for is bucolic character, and numerous world-class wineries on highly coveted fertile land. A reputable winemaker’s need for new hospitality, production, vineyards, and living spaces an 11-acres of hillside adjacent to the Silverado Trail creates an opportunity for an unexpectedly delightful production building that intersects with the environment.
On an axis parallel with the Silverado Trail, the Melka Estates production building extrudes a dark standing seam vaulted cavern across 2,000 square feet of barrel storage and a small custom laboratory towards a covered crush pad to create a modular cave. An existing Oak tree on each side of the production building establishes an axis perpendicular to the Silverado Trail. It is at the intersection of the two axes that the vaulted cavern is cut to reveal a breezeway between the pair of barrel storage rooms, framing views of the estate’s hillside and the lush Napa Valley floor.
The simple form inspired by vernacular barns was driven by functionality and the need to provide practical barrel storage and wine production. The stealth dark color and the simplicity of the design was selected to reflect on the owner’s humble and reserved personality, but at the same time invoking a bold statement similar to the wines produced inside the building.