Vice Versa Breaks Ground on Calistoga Winery

Vice Versa Wines founder Patrice Breton announced that Vice Versa, the luxury Napa Cabernet Sauvignon-focused brand he founded in 2003, will break ground on a new winery and cave at his recently acquired estate vineyard in Calistoga in late Summer 2022.

Breton tapped San Francisco-based architect Olle Lundberg of Lundberg Design to design the 10,000-square-foot cave and winery. The winery and cave, which boast three private hospitality spaces, have a planned completion date of Summer 2024.

Lundberg has also designed the caves for Screaming Eagle, Ramey Wine Cellars, Hourglass Winery, and several of the Bay Area’s most celebrated restaurants, including the Slanted Door, Quince, Mourad, Flour + Water, as well as several stunning private residences in San Francisco, the Napa Valley, Sea Ranch and beyond.

The winery building will have a singular aspiration – to act as a gateway to the surrounding soil and vineyards. Lundberg hopes the winery will express the direct connection between the land, the grapes, the cave, and the winery. The ground floor of the winery will serve as the production facility, and the second floor will be reserved for hospitality spaces for private tastings.

“Think of the building as a traditional long gable barn, split in half, and the two volumes pulled apart and offset, twisting the roof and the connecting deck between, so that the result opens to the sky, the hillside beyond, and the cave underneath, stated Lundberg. “It forms a gateway to the subterranean landscape and the sky – the components that define the terroir, which in turn determines the character of the grapes that grow here. Sitting on the second-level deck, looking down at the production areas and out at the vineyards and forest, it should be a special place to celebrate a perfect expression of a vintner’s craft.”

The construction utilizes three dominant wall surfaces – Corten, a weathering steel that seals as it rusts, Kalwall, an insulated translucent panel system, and glass. The bottom production level is softly daylit through the Kalwall panels. The upper hospitality level has 360-degree views from the fully glazed exterior walls. The covered crush pad is in the center of the winery’s ground floor, with a second-level entertainment deck overlooking the production area. The crush pad opens up to the hillside behind, with the vines cascading down the hillside, the tableau framed by the structure above. Centered in this space is the portal to the cave, with a long straight axis that leads to an ample, vaulted space that is a tasting room for the winery.

Patrice Breton commented, “Olle’s designs are pure, modern, organic, and holistic. I wanted an avant-garde, timeless, unique, and efficient design with clean lines, a structure that merged seamlessly into the surrounding vineyard, and a fireproof building. Olle’s idea of choosing Corten steel for the superstructure was pure genius. Not only will the shades of rust blend with the soil colors in the vineyard, but the building will age well and be impossible to burn down. It will be a true architectural masterpiece that will stand the test of time.”

The Vineyard is home to beautiful, 25-year-old vines — primarily Cabernet Sauvignon — that grow at 500 ft. elevation on rocky white tufa soils and benefit from a cool marine breeze in the afternoon. Set in the Chalk Hill Gap area, the microclimate is eight-twelve degrees cooler in the afternoon on average than in other parts of Calistoga, resulting in wines with freshness, beautiful purity, minerality, and seductive richness.

Vice Versa also sources grapes from some of the most exalted vineyards in California, if not the world, celebrated for their unrivaled power and unmistakable terroir. This includes fruit from dedicated lots at four legendary grand crus quality vineyards owned by the Beckstoffer family: Beckstoffer To Kalon, arguably the most revered site in all of Napa; Beckstoffer Dr. Crane, Beckstoffer Las Piedras, and Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard. Vice Versa also sources from the brilliant Ecotone Vineyard above Meadowood Resort, the historic Steltzner Vineyards in the Stags Leap District, and Platt, a spectacular high elevation Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard.

Winemakers Philippe Melka and Maayan Koschitzky of the renowned winemaking consultancy Atelier Melka have crafted Vice Versa’s wines since 2015. Since the brand’s inception in 2003, Vice Versa has been growing from strength to strength and today has secured its place as one of Napa’s elite wineries, with multiple 98-100-point scores from top wine critics.

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