The 'Agricultural Architecture' of Sonoma

    “Sonoma County’s wine culture prides itself on being more relaxed than nearby Napa Valley, more rooted in place — which might explain why the architecture of local wineries is more down-to-earth as well,” John King writes in the San Francisco Chronicle.


     Earlier this year, King took readers on an architectural tour of the wineries of the Napa Valley. Now, he has done the same for Sonoma County.


     Here are a few of his observations…

     * At Kenwood Vineyards, an aged barn serves not just as the tasting room but as the inspiration for exponentially larger buildings that house the workings of this 350,000-case operation.


     * Mill Creek Vineyards makes a deeper impression than its more stately rivals. This 1982 structure is barely larger than a house, but the form is agricultural rather than domestic and the worn wooden porch with its stubby railings has a workaday country feel.


    * Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is a stone-clad estate topped by thick clay tiles with a courtyard in the middle and a visitor-accessible watchtower. Supposedly, it is modeled on the ancestral home in Italy, although Denver architect Sean Garrett also drew on what a winery plaque calls “precedents established by medieval monasteries.”

     * Ledson Winery rises like some purple brick exercise in French-Normandy nostalgia. It’s neither gloomy nor Gothic enough to be memorable, but the masonry is exquisite, the twists and turns of the towers and turrets set off against a steep slate roof.


     You can read about the architectural features of more Sonoma County wineries at


Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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