The Beringer Wine Estates property is one of the oldest winery complexes in the Napa Valley. Of the various structures on the site, two buildings are most notable: The Rhine House built for the Frederick Beringer Family in 1883-1884, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the original Old Winery and Caves built in 1876, which are noted for being the oldest continually operating winery structures in the area.
We were hired to help with strategic master planning, design, and restoration of the entire 17-acre property. Our initial work involved a comprehensive site analysis and master planning phase, which identified several deficiencies with the current use of the property and buildings. The Rhine House, an icon not only for the winery, but the entire Napa Valley, was being severely overused while other areas of the property were considerably under-utilized. Beringer was unable to serve a significant number of their visitors, losing many who were unwilling to wait for the few scheduled tours. Our master plan suggested the relocation of many visitor functions to other buildings on the property, allowing a more even distribution of people throughout the site resulting in less congestion and fewer ques.
Implementation of the master plan sought to take advantage of tax credits available for appropriate restoration and reuse of historic structures. Our design solutions and drawings were prepared based on the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Structures and, throughout the design process, the project team submitted drawings for review by both the California State Historic Preservation Officer and the National Park Service.
A new Carriage House, Entry Garden, and larger parking lot were constructed in Phase I, allowing the relocation of parking to improve site circulation around the Beringer Wine Estates and making it possible in subsequent phases to remove large expanses of paving adjacent to the Rhine House and to restore and reintroduce the historic landscape.