I was away for a few weeks over the holidays, hence the lack of posts, in case anyone was curious. I spent the time around New Year’s Day up in Napa with family and many friends. During our stay we were more than fortunate to have a private tour of one of region’s grandest wineries: Harlan. Harlan, the wine, in case you haven’t tried it, is spectacular, but more to the theme of this blog, it is the architecture about which I wish to rave. Designed by Howard Backen, the structures of the Harlan Estate are almost perfect expressions of rustic stateliness. The scale is awe-inspiring in that the structures are as appropriately large as possible, yet extremely cozy. The materials are perfectly chosen and the finishes are classic and yet totally fresh.
Imagine our excitement when we were taken to another vineyard, Ovid, that turned out to be situated on an insane plot of land at the top of the east hills that flank the valley. Driving up and up on a overcast day, we arrived above the clouds looking out upon a sea of white as if the edge of the cliff was the ocean’s shore. Relaxing under the now sunny skies, we were hosted at what we almost immediately recognized to be another Howard Backen designed vineyard. The pictures above and below are Ovid. Check out the Backen Gillam Architects website for more.