Friday, January 28, 2011

Napa Vintners Receive Recognition for Historical Preservation and Environmentally Conscious Building Practices

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) has received more accolades for historic preservation and environmental leadership for its transformation of the once-ghost Jackse Winery to its headquarters.

The NVV was awarded the 2010 Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation for its Jackse Winery project. The old winery became the 67-year-old trade association's first permanent home in the Napa Valley in 2010.

One juror commented, "I am always amazed at the falling down ruins that people choose to renovate. This is a perfect example of the insanity that possesses some people. I am pretty good at looking at buildings and seeing what's possible but this one eludes me. All I can do is stand and applaud."

"Bringing back this historic 1905 all-wooden winery in the heart of the Napa Valley to a LEED-certified headquarters for our association is a dream come true," said NVV Executive Director Linda Reiff. "We have been working diligently toward finding a permanent home for our group for nearly fifteen years and when we were able to purchase the abandoned winery and preserve some of our region's history, it made perfect sense."

"Winning the award for Large Rehabilitation category alongside such other wonderful preservation projects in California is an honor," said Bob Torres of Trinchero Napa Valley winery who chaired the NVV's office building committee. Honored along with Jackse Winery in St Helena are: Hollywood Bungalow Courts, Hollywood; Pisgah Village, Los Angeles; Richmond Memorial Civic Center, Richmond; Tahoe Fish Hatchery, Tahoe City; Walker House, San Dimas; and Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco

The Preservation Design Award was presented at a reception and awards ceremony at the exclusive Getty Villa in Malibu. The California Preservation Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization

National Recognition for the Jackse Project
The National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized the preservation of the Jackse Winery in the January 2011 issue of Preservation Magazine in an article titled "Greener Grows the Valley," along with other outstanding preservation projects in the renowned Napa Valley like Beringer Vineyards' Rhine House and the Charles Krug Winery. Photographed by National Geographic photographer Charles O'Rear, a Napa Valley resident, the article applauds the wine region for its care in preserving important landmarks from the past.

"We are delighted to be included in the historic preservation of the Napa Valley's history while paying keen attention to industry-leading green practices along the way to ensure the highest standards are in place," said NVV Board President Kathleen Heitz Myers.

The Napa Valley Vintners was an early-adopter and one of the first to be recognized as a Bay Area Green Business in the San Francisco Bay Area. The ghost winery and association headquarters has been LEED-certified, silver level, for its high environmental standards.

"All of this is in complement to the green standards we have adopted in the vineyards and wineries of the Napa Valley," Heitz Myers continued. "Napa Green Certified Land and Winery programs are the wine industry's most comprehensive farming and wine production initiatives that are the best in the country. I'm proud of our industry's achievements and feel that the association headquarters mirrors that philosophy we have in our industry."

About the Jackse Winery/Napa Valley Vintners project
The 1905 Jackse Winery in St. Helena is one of the few remaining wood-framed winery buildings in St. Helena's main business district. While the building is significant, Stephen Jackse's unusual arrest for bootlegging during Prohibition is what really distinguished him and his winery in Napa Valley.

The winery was adapted for use as the permanent offices of the Napa Valley Vintners. The contrast between the aged, rustic character of the winery with the new materials of the addition was carried throughout where aged siding contrasts with the contemporary interiors.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Report from the Road: Michael Honig & Taste Napa Valley NY

I arrived in New York yesterday after a few very cold days in Toronto. As I started to relax in the cab from the airport to the hotel, the video screen started and there was an ad promoting the fact the Napa Vintners Vintners were in the Big Apple. Talk about a captive audience! In every city cab with a TV screen, thousands of New Yorkers were hearing about Napa and the fact that we are in town and ready to rumble.

When I arrived at the trade tasting at an hour early, there were already buyers clamoring to get in. Stacey and Linda of the NVV were trying to hold them off until all the vintners arrived, but there were a few tense moments :-) Once the doors swung open, the room filled up and everyone was happy. I saw many top buyers from New York, but New Jersey and Connecticut were also well represented. There were also many press people and the Wine Spectator was filming segments for their website. The three hours were a blur and the time flew by so fast that I was never able to try any other wines or even get a bathroom break!

Last night about twenty vintners did a tasting with our partner Lexus. It was a well attended event that Lexus had marketed to their car buyers. This is a great demographic and I noticed that many of the guests were in their late twenties to early thirties, which is the perfect target audience for our wines. Today I am off to do a focus tasting on Premiere Napa Valley wines at Per Se and then a late night tasting at Landmarc.

Should be another great day showing New Yorkers why Napa rocks!!