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Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars unveil $7m design for new visitor centre

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley unveiled the design for a new visitor centre that's been 10 years in the making at a ceremony held at the estate this week.

From left to right: Marchese Piero Antinori, Javier Barba, Ted Baseler, Dan Macdonald. Photo credit: John McJunkin

Ted Baseler, president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, who, along with Marchesi Piero Antinori, purchased the historic winery in 2007, said: ‘We believe this will bring our tasting facility up to date with Napa Valley in 2014.’

Antinori added that the winery, costing approximately $7m to build, ‘will now be able to receive guests in a setting in-line with the prestige of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.’

The 6,000 sq ft visitor centre, due for completion in 2014, was designed by Barcelona-based Javier Barba, who previously designed wineries for the Miguel Torres family in Spain and was commissioned by Stag’s Leap founder Warren Winiarski to design an addition to the wine caves that was completed in 2000.

Speaking about the project to Decanter.com, Barba said: ‘The primary inspiration was the Stag’s Leap rock formation, that and the land, which is so important to the story of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and the district.’

Surrounded in glass, the new visitor centre will offer 180-degree views of the estate’s FAY and S.L.V Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, something Barba is keen to highlight: ‘The view is everything, and all of the tasting rooms have a powerful, open relationship to the vineyards.’

‘The materials were chosen because they are of this land. We’re harvesting stone from the estate to build the walls, and the plaster facade is the colour and consistency of the soil. Oak and other woods are species one would find here in the woodlands.

‘This is not a winery you would find in France or Italy. I was excited to work with our team to make something distinctly Napa Valley. This is a reflection of these soils’, he added.

By using Barba’s team, Antinori said: ‘We are honouring the dream of the founder’.

Winiarski founded Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in 1970. His first commercial wine, the 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon, brought the winery to the world’s attention when it was famously selected over several First Growth Bordeaux at the 1976 Judgement of Paris.

Written by Courtney Humiston

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