Statement-Making Wineries to Visit NowAuthor:Annette Hanami
Castle in the sky – Lokoya Winery in Napa Valley
When the Jackson Family acquired the original Yverdon estate on Spring Mountain as their new home for Lokoya, they hired Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects to transform the former multi-story stone winery into a luxury tasting room befitting their impressive, age-worthy mountain Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Built half a century ago in the vein of European castles, the upper floor was dark and gothic with stone walls and stained glass windows obscuring the architectural details. The design team opened up the room by replacing sections of stone wall and all the stained glass windows and doors with clear glazing, flooding it with light and showcasing the impressive arches and large, quadrefoil windows
A central table highlights the height and symmetry of the space which is further buttressed by uplit columns and capitals. On either side of the table are luxury lounge areas, the space defined on one side by a long, clear steel and glass cabinet which spotlights their wines without losing a sense of grandeur in the room.
Prior to the restoration, the floor was closed off with interior rooms. Now, even the cellar has a stylish home worthy of the wines’ caliber and clarity.
With spectacular views from 2,000 feet location, guests can connect the intensity of the wines with the 25-acre estate vineyards hugging the steep slopes of Spring Mountain. Lokoya produces four 100% varietal Cabernet Sauvignon from high elevation vineyards, the Lokoya Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($375) was as pure and stunning as the location. Visits to Lokoya are by appointment only.
Positive Energy Flows at Rubin Family Estate in Sebastopol
Forty years after studying oenology and viticulture at UC Davis and over two decades building The Republic of Tea brand, Ron Rubin found the perfect vineyard of Goldridge soils in Sonoma’s cooler, Green Valley appellation to produce his own Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. To maximize the potential of the vines into wines, Rubin asked feng shui expert Barbara Lyons Stewart to consult with MBH Architects in creating a new winery, tasting rooms and offices that would enhance the flow of spiritual energy and produce a harmonious, productive environment for all.
According to this ancient art of placement, the greatest energy channeling fame and passion comes from the most open, south-facing and sunny entrances to the building so the team designed two floors of tasting rooms plus winemaker and private offices to face south, with an expanse of large windows and folding NanaWall glass doors on the 2nd floor. In the reception area, tall, narrow windows place a focus on the long view.
Feng shui design emphasizes pleasing patterns and relationships found in nature like the walkways that meander like a river through the mixed plantings, slowing down one’s pace and creating calm. Where there are straight corridors in the building, curved lighting and eye-catching artwork mirror a similar flow.
The light-filled, double-height entry and curved staircase immediately impress, helping to shift guests’ energy from outside to inside, while the contrast of the white and red wine displays against the dark reclaimed wood walls draw guests’ attention to their importance. Throughout the property, there is a yin yang of the old and new, light and dark, and a balance of the elements that create positive energy for guests, staff and the beautiful Pinot Noir wines. Rubin Family of Wines is by appointment only.
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