Silver Oak Cellars, producer of Cabernet Sauvignon from both Napa and Alexander Valley, has announced the opening of its new winery and tasting room in Oakville, Calif.
Re-built from the ground up after the original facility suffered a fire in 2006, the winery is designed to produce one wine only, the Silver Oak Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Its first grapes were received on September 1.
The new timber-framed tasting room features reclaimed stone, oak and redwood, and is evocative of the original tasting room built in 1981.
“Though the fire was devastating, it presented us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Silver Oak President David Duncan, son of Silver Oak co-founder Raymond Duncan and leader of the rebuilding project.
“We were able to take 35 years of experience in both winemaking and hospitality and apply it to create an ideal space for making our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and entertaining our guests.”
The winery features a soaring, sky-lit fermentation barn, an eastern-facing crush pad and a tilt-up concrete barrel chai with 11-inch-thick walls and four individual temperature and humidity-controlled bays.
The facility has no columns, minimizing obstacles for harvest traffic and work flow and allowing for maximum flexibility in the future.
“The new winery is a winemaker’s dream. We incorporated all the technological advancements of recent years into the winery’s design, but made sure we could accommodate changes down the line,” says winemaker Daniel Baron. “There’s no doubt that wine quality will improve as a result.”
A courtyard and fountain, anchored by Silver Oak’s iconic water tower, provide the entrance to the tasting room area, where visitors to the winery will find a huge stone fireplace, the Glass House wine library with a display of vintages dating back to the 1970s, and a barrel chai.
A History Gallery with memorabilia from the original Silver Oak Cellars and a time capsule also add to the unique features.
The interior of the tasting room and the exterior of the winery are built from hand-quarried limestone, reclaimed from an 1800s flour mill in Coffeeville, Kansas.
“Our hospitality area honors our history and has a friendly, familiar feel, but we also wanted to offer our guests something new,” says Duncan. “With the materials we’ve used and the craftsmanship throughout, we’ve tried to create a very memorable tactile experience, where people use all their senses to experience the wines and the winery.”
In conjunction with its opening, Silver Oak created several new tasting experiences for visitors. In addition to tastings of its current releases in the tasting room, the winery offers — by appointment only — a Silver Tour and Taste, and a Silver Tour and Food Pairing, featuring foods prepared by winery chef Dominic Orsini.
Four times a week, it also offers Collectors’ Tastings featuring six-year verticals of either its Napa Valley or Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Consumers interested in booking a tour and/or tasting may call the winery at 800-273-8809.
“We want to offer rare, unforgettable experiences to wine lovers and collectors,” says Director of Retail Sales and Hospitality Kathleen McLeod. “For decades the winery has set aside a portion of wines to be cellared and re-released at a later date, resulting in an extensive library from each vintage. We’re very fortunate to be able to share these wines.”
Silver Oak Cellars will celebrate the grand opening of the new Oakville winery at its upcoming Release Day on February 7. A Silver Oak tradition for nearly two decades, Release Day introduces the winery’s newest vintage with an entire day devoted to savoring delicious wine and food and reconnecting with old friends.
The architect for the new Silver Oak Cellars in Oakville was Taylor Lombardo Architects of San Francisco. The contractor was Cello & Maudru of Napa.
Silver Oak Cellars was co-founded in 1972 by Raymond Duncan and Justin Meyer. Dedicated exclusively to producing Cabernet Sauvignon that is aged and drinkable upon release, the winery makes two wines at two separate facilities: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at its winery in Oakville, and Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at the winery in Geyserville, Sonoma County.
When Meyer retired in 2001, he sold his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family. Today, Silver Oak Cellars is run by founder Raymond Duncan’s two sons, David and Tim Duncan, who adhere to the principle of continuous improvement and the high standards of quality that Justin and Ray established so many years ago.