California House IV

Napa Valley, California (1995)


This Vineyard produces some of the finest Napa Valley Cabernet from the prized Rutherford Bench area. The winery component of the project, which includes production, storage and hospitality elements, went through several iterations over many years. Ultimately the process resulted in one of the most extensive and elaborate set of wine caves in the valley with almost all of the functions located below ground.


This design was inspired by the Italian heritage of the Client, and is well suited to its surrounding sixty-two acres of vineyard. A desire was expressed for a causal ambiance that is more rustic than regal. The end result is an informal yet impressive look at palazzo living with high open spaces in the corridor, living room, and veranda and more personal enclosed space in the kitchen and bedrooms. All with careful details, exposed heavy timber ceilings, a natural palette of materials, and a few modern touches.


The program requirements include a full array of needs, from accommodating a 40-piece orchestra, wine library, and a museum quality collection of contemporary art, to being able to create a home for a family with the rustic comfort of a Tuscan vineyard.


The residence is somewhat modeled after a traditional Italian village with a tower, plaza, and rolling hillside view. A main corridor connects the master bedroom, living room, kitchen and dining room while culminating at the tower staircase. With its high ceiling proportions the corridor crease an evocative art gallery space The large and well appointed country kitchen is the heart of the home, it invites bare feet and the aromatic allure of Italian cooking at its finest.


Honed Bianco Carrara marble with no polish, textured stucco walls, terra cotta pavers, white tile, pine trim, cornflower blue cabinets, and heavy timber fir beams are just a few of the materials and details found in the kitchen and throughout the residence.