Clayton & Little has unveiled its designs for the new Alma Rosa Winery, Tasting Room and Vineyard Equipment Barn located on El Jabali Ranch in Buellton, California. The winery is designed to blend into its surroundings by embedding the facility into the hillside and through the use of local stone and natural materials to visually merge exposed elements with the landscape.
A vegetated roof of native grasses seamlessly blends the nearly 25,000-square-foot complex into the bank of the hill. The tasting room and support space foster a strong visual connection to winery operations, the caves and provide dramatic views to the north vineyard block, heightening the visitors’ experience and immersion into the ranch.
Incorporating the native stone walls that slide out of the hill and through the Fermentation Hall, the winery is comprised of multiple spaces assembled under one large steel-framed roof to provide abundant shade to working spaces and ample daylight to interiors. Fermentation space includes 64-ton capacity fermentation tanks with a platform and floor space available to expand. The intention was to design a space to reflect how a farmer would have built the necessities to run their operations – with both simplicity and flexibility in mind. The steel-framed winery building houses open-air fermentation, crush/bottling deck, cased goods storage, a winemaker’s laboratory and blending room, and portals to directly access the caves. A second level with exterior circulation includes admin offices for the general manager, sales manager, accounting staff, winemaker and cellar master, two flex offices, a large meeting room, restrooms and a break room that opens up to an exterior terrace. All spaces will feature wonderful daylight and overlook the fermentation activities and visually connect to the hillside and vineyard.
The ventilated subterranean caves leverage the natural soil temperature and help to minimize mechanical cooling to house +/- 1,000 red wine barrels and a facility that can provide temperature isolation of +/- 100 barrels for white wine. The bulk of the barrel storage on the outer arc is via forklift racks, stacked two and three rows high. Larger rooms include Bordeaux stacked barrels that are joined by a wine library “bridge” capable of hosting approximately 8,000 bottles. These spaces are connected to a cave Lounge that serves VIP hosting for hospitality, as well as flexible meeting space for winery and admin staff needs.
The entire winery will have integrated night air cooling to stay in line with the winery’s sustainable strategy to using as little energy as possible. An integrated photovoltaic array on the southern facing gable roof of the winery should minimize reliance on utility provided energy, generating enough power annually to take the winery and vineyard barn off-grid.
Serving over 50 acres of planted vineyard on the Ranch, the new 3,569-square-foot Vineyard Equipment Barn is optimally positioned to service vineyards on both side of the winery. The steel-framed barn provides open-air covered space for heavy farming equipment, tools, picking bins and closed workspace. A restrained material palette including weathering steel structure, perforated corrugated metal and concrete, is selected to be simple and maintenance-free.
Images: Courtesy of Clayton & Little