SONOMA, California (PRWEB) December 12, 2012
Hamel Family Wines (“HFW”) of Sonoma Valley announces the groundbreaking on construction of its estate winery, caves and hospitality center at 15401 Sonoma Highway, at the intersection of Madrone Rd., with the opening planned for Spring, 2014. Founded in 2006, Hamel Family Wines is a Sonoma Valley family winery that produces a limited quantity of wines primarily from estate-grown, organically farmed grapes.
“The groundbreaking is simply the tangible beginning of the realization of our family’s passion and collective dream—making great wine, produced on our historic estate, from organic grapes grown on our property. The estate has a long and rich history of involvement with wine and family—some of the first vines in Northern California were planted here when it was owned for years by the Hearst family, and we’re delighted to be the latest stewards of such a wonderful property.” noted HFW’s founder, George Hamel.
The architectural design of the winery is inspired by the picturesque 124-acre site, nestled into the Mayacamas Mountains. The Hamels selected the San Francisco Studio of Gould Evans, renowned for their award winning winery designs in Sonoma and Napa, to assist them in the realization of their collective winery dreams. “The Hamels had a clear vision of building a winery that would celebrate the magical view of the rolling vineyards for their guests” stated principal architect Douglas Thornley, “the strategy of tucking the winery into the base of the mountain allows not only the opportunity to look back over the vineyard, but also allows for a logical expansion of the vineyard to the east in a manner consistent with traditional agrarian planning principles.”
The 6,875 square-foot Estate House, 7,500 square-foot winery and 12,000 square-foot caves for barrel storage will be located along Sonoma Highway in the Sonoma Valley appellation. The property–currently referred to as Hamel Family Ranch–has 30 acres of existing vineyards, planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Grenache, and Petite Sirah.
The winery will be located deep into the site, nestled up against an existing slope of oak woodland and manzanita chaparral that reaches into the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. The production facility–which features among other things, a living, green roof–will be devoted primarily to fermentation and support spaces for the vintner’s team. Barrel storage will be housed within an adjacent wine cave east of the winery (built into the slope), which will substantially reduce the overall footprint of the winery and naturally provide a cool temperature, and an increased humidity level suitable for barrel storage.
Located just west of the winery, the Estate House hospitality center sits on a stone plinth, which will provide guests with dramatic views over the gently rolling vineyards that are part of the beauty of the Sonoma Valley floor. Surrounded by a protective rainscreen of recycled cedar siding and incorporating state-of-the-art mechanical systems to reduce energy usage, the project reflects and enhances the Hamel family’s intent to be exemplary stewards of the land through their deep commitment to sustainable, organic farming.
Conceptually, the assembly of new structures is organized in two layers of horizontal planes that define massing, circulation, and enclosure, inspired by the horizontality of the adjacent Mayacamas Mountains. The two pavilions in the Estate House–the Tasting Room and Administrative Wing–slope upward toward the west and frame views of the undulating vineyard. The pavilions enclose a courtyard that extends the tasting room experience to the outdoors. The Library, a virtual gem placed between the two pavilions, provides a private oasis that is inward-focused to support VIP and Wine Club functions. The opportunity to experience the vineyard beyond the overlook of the courtyard is provided by a series of outdoor spaces that include a bosque of fruit trees, and a lower terrace of ancient olive trees that will provide eye-level views of the vineyard.
Hamel Family Wines has been crafting limited quantities of artisan wines, from premier grapes grown in their Sonoma Valley vineyards, since 2006. For more information on Hamel Family Wines, please visit http://www.hamelfamilywines.com.