Through his unique approach to making wine, Jesse Katz is breaking new ground in the Sonoma Valley. One of the country’s most exciting young winemakers, Jesse was selected as a “rising star” by Wine Spectator who is “changing the way the world drinks wine.” He is the son of world-renowned photographer Andy Katz who, through his photographs, has changed the way the world sees wine. Jesse spent his childhood travelling the world with his father, absorbing both his love of wine and his singular visual perspective. Our intent was to give voice to the groundbreaking vision of both men through the architecture, while simultaneously responding to the winery’s unique location on the valley floor.
We had two goals for the winery: to ground it firmly in the context of the Sonoma Valley and to represent the unique perspective of this father/son collaboration. First and foremost, this winery is a direct response to the site. Set on the valley floor, to the east of the Sonoma Mountains, the site enjoys a distinctive vantage point that capitalizes upon the rich soils of the creek-fed site, the fog-cooled micro-climate and the views of the mountain ranges to both the east and west. Set along the less-travelled Old Redwood Highway, the site’s orientation and views are directed toward the Sonoma Mountains to the west, a perspective directly opposite from the wineries sited along the more populated West Side Road to the west - yet another reflection of Jesse Katz’ penchant for going against the grain.
Our clients for this unique project are Jesse Katz - one of the country’s most exciting young winemakers selected as a “rising star” by Wine Spectator who is “changing the way the world drinks wine,” and his father Andy Katz - a world-renowned photographer who, through his photographs, has changed the way the world sees wine. Jesse spent his childhood travelling the world with his father, absorbing both his love of wine and his singular visual perspective. Our intent was to give voice to the groundbreaking vision of both men through the architecture, while simultaneously responding to the winery’s unique location in the Sonoma Valley. Set on the valley floor, to the east of the Sonoma Mountains, the site enjoys a distinctive vantage point that capitalizes upon the rich soils of the creek-fed site, the fog-cooled micro-climate and the views of the mountain ranges to the east and west.
The project comprises two distinct elements: a large production winery, and a more intimate hospitality building to host curated tastings and events. Much like the art of photography, architecture is an intellectual and visual exercise in perspective, so for both buildings, we filtered our design process through the exploration of the camera as a filter for experience. Although the two structures vary in scale and massing, the design solution for each emerged from the exploration of the elements of an aperture, and the possibilities that emerge from reassembling those elements in varying ways.
We began by exploring the shape of an aperture: a hexagon. To minimize the massing of the 20,000-square-foot production building, we deconstructed the hexagon into separate elements, manipulating them and reassembling them into connected structures, with rooflines that reach skyward, forming a dramatic silhouette. To respect the building’s agricultural context, we used rustic materials that relate to the land, sheathing the buildings in a darkened metal that approximates the effect of aging corten steel.
Set a small distance from the production winery, the hospitality building is yet another visual manipulation of the elements of an aperture, defined by light, views and transparent indoor/outdoor spaces. We oriented this small building to capture the views of the Sonoma Mountains and embrace the ocean breezes that flow from the west. By elevating the building pad 32 inches above the vineyards, we were able to lift the visual perspective and significantly expand the views.
The deconstructed elements of the aperture are assembled around a central hospitality area, defined by a massive oculus at its center. This central tasting area is flanked by private, glass-walled tasting rooms that unfold to reveal 180-degree views of the vineyards and mountains. The deep shade of the building’s exterior yields to a bright white interior, lined with large museum-quality prints of Andy Katz’s photographs. Although the interior ceiling heights are limited to ten feet to assure an efficient use of materials, the all-white interiors - illuminated by the central oculus and sliding glass walls - form an airy, gallery-like space, beautifully framing the valley views.
Material Used :
Production building: vintage weathered galvanized steel, corten metal siding, insulated metal panels.
Hospitality building: sustainable Western Red Cedar, vintage weathered galvanized metal, energy-efficient translucent panels, thermally broken aluminum doors and windows, custom color-integrated Acrylic Plaster.
Furniture: Longhouse, Zachary A., Tuuci, Aedicule, Aesthetic Mirror, Arteriors, Bseated, Circa Lighting, Harbour Outdoor, Design Within Reach, Interlude Home, California Carpet, Noir, CFC
Fabric/Leather: Carrol Leather, Pollack, Erica Shamrock, Fil Doux, Jerry Pair