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THE MAGAZINE FOR

C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY

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Hall & Bartley

REDESIGNING CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY

There is a lot more to wineries than tasting rooms, as Hall & Bartley Architects knows. after building premium wineries for over 25 years.

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CONSTRUCTION LEADERS TODAY

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by Rachel Goldberg

When you open a bottle of wine, do you think about the intensive processing facilities that were involved in making it? How the grapes were grown and transported, crushed, processed and stored? Andy Hall does. As a founding principal of design firm Hall & Bartley, Hall has spent more than 25 years designing more than 50 wineries in California’s premium wine country, and he can say with certainty that there’s a lot more to wineries than tasting rooms. Hall was working with Scott Bartley at a firm that specialized in winery design in the early 1980s when its owner decided to retire and offered them the company.

They stuck with winery projects and since then they have become the go-to firm for wineries looking to build or expand. The small practice has downsized in recent years with economic troubles hitting the wine industry. Hall says that while sales of lower-priced bulk wines remain strong, sales of higher-priced wines have fallen flat over the past few years. With winery finances squeezed, Hall and Bartley are doing more and more work with existing facilities rather than new construction. “We’ll evaluate the existing facility and see if we can make it more efficient in its use of how the product flows through it and then come up with expansion ideas,”

Hall said. “We do a master plan for them and then phase that plan over a number of years. Each phase is studied; with determination of work with associated production levels and costs. The client then has valuable information to incorporate into a business plan.” For Meridian winery, a large facility in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., Hall & Bartley created a master plan and provided full architectural services, 1. Sun setting on the hospitality center at St. Francis Vineyards, Kenwood, Sanoma County, Calif. Photo by Tim Maloney. 2. A public wine tasting facility at St. Francis Vineyards, Kenwood, Sanoma County, Calif. Photo by Tim Maloney. Summer 2010 5


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including landscaping, permit assistance, and planning for ongoing expansion. The facilities included space for processing grapes into wine, as well as public tasting and touring areas. Hall enjoys the challenges in both designing new wineries and expanding existing ones. “It’s like putting puzzles together; you pick the parts. In new winery design you take the parts, and see how they fit on the site, keeping in mind along with function, the orientation, the climate, and the views” he says. “On an existing facility a lot of that is given, but you have opportunities in the expansions to integrate some of those by adding new spaces.” By renovating existing winemaking facilities, Hall & Bartley are able to make them more functional and energy efficient, saving the owners time and money and reducing impact to the environment. For Hall, green building starts with paying close attention to the site layout. The orientation of a building and its relationship to sun exposure, wind and topography are critical factors in his designs. For the Flowers Winery in Sonoma

County, Calif., the architects had to work with an unusually steep site, so they designed a structure to fit with the landscape. They placed barrel storage rooms underground, which also allowed them to utilize the naturally cool underground air to refrigerate the wine barrels. Their familiarity with the California climate is another advantage for Hall & Bartley. Because temperature plays such an important part in winemaking, modifying how facilities circulate water and heat can dramatically reduce their energy use and

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waste. For example, heat given off from a refrigeration system can be used to preheat water that will be used for wash down in the water heating system. “The wine industry has had to be sustainable for quite a few years, because of the energy use. For us, it’s been part of the design process all along,” Hall said. Their designs show a wide variety of styles because each is built to complement its environment and the wishes of its owner. “Often the winery is a marketing image, so they will have a character or a

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3. Meridian Vineyards Hospitality Center, Paso Robles, Calif. Photo by Charles Callister. 4. Patio view of the Marimar Torres Estate Winery, Sonoma County, Calif. Photo courtesy of Hall & Bartley. 5. Hanzell Winery fermenting and cave portal, Sonoma, Calif. Photo courtesy of Hall & Bartley.

RAY CARLSON Ray Carlson & Associates provides professional land surveying services and vineyard consulting services to Sonoma, Napa, Marin and Mendocino Counties. They provide many types of surveys which are all performed with a high degree of accuracy by experienced staff. They have been and continue to be a team player with Hall and Bartley Architecture. Ray Carlson’s vineyard consulting services include collecting accurate information using systems to create custom GIS data bases that are GPS friendly for on-going monitoring and facility and vineyard management. Their systems are proven to achieve exact vine counts to be used for development, formulas for purchasing, supplies, measuring quality and profit analysis. Ray Carlson and Associates As-Built 3-D modeling is a great tool for marketing your tasting room or vineyard. Summer 2010 7


WRIGHT CONTRACTING Family owned and operated since 1953, Wright Contracting, Inc. has built their reputation on trust, integrity and superior service. As a leader in the winery construction industr y, Wright takes great pride in ever y project and their relationships with prestigious clients.  Wright has completed over 70 winery projects and continues to expand their level of expertise in winery construction. Wright has worked with Hall & Bartley Architects for over 25 years, and Kendall-Jackson LaCrema Winery, Santa Rosa, Calif. . General Contractor: Wright Contracting,


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style they’re looking for,” Hall said. “The client could tell you they want it to look like a barn; they could tell you they want it to look like an Italian villa.” Hall & Bartley designed the Clos LaChance winery in San Martin, Calif., which was built to complement the neighboring resort and golf course. Building a winery adjacent to a golf course was a challenge, Hall said. The orientation of the building had to take into account how the look and sounds from the winery would affect the golf course and the play. The high-tech interiors of the facility were a contrast with the “Old World Italian” setting. No two wineries are alike, said Hall. The spaces needed can vary greatly depending on the volume and type of wine that is being made. “Red wine might get aged in barrels for a couple years after fermenting on the skins in tanks. White grapes often go straight to the press, are fermented in

tanks at cooler temperatures and may not even see a barrel. So they may not need very many barrels, where red wines will have rooms full of barrels.” Their years of experience in winery design and construction gives Hall & Bartley a unique insight into winemaking. Working closely with clients, they get a front-row seat to the process, and some extra perks, like getting to taste wine straight from the barrel. Hall & Bartley is continually improving their process to be able to give their clients what they need. In light of the state of the economy, they have made their working process more efficient so that they can help wineries do the same, said Hall. “We’re using these times to improve our marketing and to keep our name in the industry, so when it does turn around wineries will know that they can turn to Hall and Bartley.” CLT 6. J Wine Company tasting Bar, Healdsburg, Calif.

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There is a lot more to wineries than tasting rooms, as Hall & Bartley Architects knows. after building premium wineries for over 25 year...

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