2021 Design Awards: Winery Design, Brand Napa Valley by Erin Martin Design


“Just because there is space doesn’t mean you need to fill it with nervous talk or polyester throw pillows,” says designer Erin Martin. “I always say it’s math; everything is math.”

In the bath hall, a bold rug from Aga John Rugs sits below a woven leather bench from Lucca Antiques and dramatic candelabras by Mike Diaz (Mexico) from Blackman Cruz.
Photos by Tubay Yabut.

Martin’s formulaic approach to design always stuns us with playful scale, unexpected details and an unmatched casual-cool vibe. She applied this artistic practice inside Brand Napa Valley, a 110-acre property located in St. Helena atop Pritchard Hill that is known for producing three beautifully bold reds. Jim Bean and Christine O’Sullivan, long-time grape growers and former Apple executives who acquired Brand in 2019, wanted to create not only a killer wine but also an exceptional tasting experience that innately connected to the estate’s history and beauty.

Guests are greeted at the entry room with a custom bar and pair of leather barstools designed by Erin Martin Design and made by Adam Wiedmann. Photos by Tubay Yabut.

The founders hired Martin and her team to work in partnership with Signum Architecture to enhance the overall experience. “Our goal was to create a cool place to drink incredible wine and appreciate what the earth has been so generous in sharing with us,” says Martin. “We owe it everything. It owes us nothing.”

In the main tasting room, four lounge chairs purchased from Belgium
surround an old sewing table for cutting patterns, purchased from Lucca Antiques, which Martin turned into a coffee table. Photos by Tubay Yabut.

After walking into the stark white main tasting room, Martin knew she had to reduce the brightness so that the focus could shift to the beautiful outdoor surroundings. She doused the walls with a dark grayish green hue that creates an enveloping layer of coziness, inviting you to stay and sip.

Photos by Tubay Yabut.
In the conference room, impressive vintage pendants purchased from Twentieth hang above a custom table design by EMD. The wood tops are made by Jeff Manchaca and the bases are made by Adam Wiedmann.Photos by Tubay Yabut.

A symphony of custom pieces paired with vintage and antique finds dance throughout each room, making the space feel like a modern, rustic residence that you never want to leave. Moroccan rugs, tan leather seating, vintage brass lighting and a dynamic collection of art and accessories make the traditional wine-tasting experience a memory of the past. “I am still trying to paint portraits through architecture and design that represent the people we are serving,” says Martin. “The goal is when the aliens come to visit, they’ll know who the heck lived here.”

In the cave tasting room, a custom pendant designed by Megan Dickerson for Martin sheds light on a black-and-white mural and table by ATRA.
Photos by Tubay Yabut.