The only winery with two completely distinct tasting rooms located at opposite ends of the Napa Valley – Calistoga and Carneros – Cuvaison invites the public to visit its innovative and eco-sustainable hospitality centers when they’re in California’s North Coast wine country.
“We’re not your father’s Cuvaison anymore,” said Jay Schuppert, president of Cuvaison. “For 40 years, Cuvaison has quietly hosted visitors in our humble tasting room on the Silverado Trail while taking progressive steps in our vineyards, winemaking and winery design. With these new and distinctly different tasting rooms, we offer two different settings and experiences to showcase our wines – and great reasons to visit both.”
Cuvaison’s historic Calistoga site on the Silverado Trail has been re-designed with a contemporary approach to the classic tasting environment. The owners say the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, highlighted by an inviting tasting bar, retail boutique and tree-shaded picnic grounds.
The Carneros site is in the center of the winery’s 400-acre estate vineyards, surrounded by panoramic views of vineyards and the horizon beyond. Natural light plays a prominent role in the tasting room design. Massive frameless glass doors slide out of sight, blurring the distinction between the indoors and outside terrace.
The owners said the striking views and modern decor create a relaxed, intimate ambiance for enjoying seated tastings indoors or out, arranged by appointment.
When Cuvaison embarked on the tasting room re-design project, the priority was to create a site-specific design, keeping in mind the environmentally friendly vision that has earned the winery a sustainability certification.
Cuvaison turned to the San Francisco-based architectural firm of Gould Evans Baum Thornley, Inc. for a design that integrated style with sustainable materials.
Employing what he calls “smart design,” architect Douglas Thornley used reclaimed redwood and certified sustainably-grown cedar to line the tasting room walls and ceiling. He maximized the use of natural stone products like gray slate, and incorporated overhangs, north-facing glass walls and cross-ventilation for natural temperature control. He also installed systems that direct storm water to an irrigation pond to be re-used later.
For insulation, he used recycled denim material, an environmentally friendly option that added 25 percent to insulation costs.