BCRA design firm advised us last night that our 14 Hands tasting room project won Retail Project of the Year at the NAIOP Night of the Stars event! “Your Windswept Weathered wood product, craftsmanship and attention to detail were an integral part of the project’s success,” says Kela Gribbons of BCRA. “We appreciate your partnership and hope we continue to work on many more together. Thank you!”
BCRA specified our weathered, barn wood appearance siding for both the interior and exterior elevations. “The authentic nature and genuine feel of the Windswept product was ideally suited for the ethos of 14 Hands. Many products were utilized adding to the overwhelming success of this project but Windswept clearly established the tone we were seeking”, Kela adds.
About 14 Hands
Situated in the picturesque Horse Heaven Hills sits one of the most well respected American wineries; Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 14 Hands vineyards. Critically acclaimed, this Washington wine’s success grew from the shelves of restaurants and select retailers. Ste. Michelle desired a new tasting facility to be the first platform for 14 Hands to create a cohesive customer experience with their already established and successful wine.
BCRA first launched the design process for a new tasting room with an abstract understanding of what the 14 Hands brand experience could be. While 14 Hands celebrates successful varietals, and hails as the official Wine of the Kentucky derby, the customer experience of the wine itself lacked definition. The existing label artwork was the only existing visual expression of their brand. It highlights wild horses, known to be 14 hands tall, that used to be abundant in the Horse Heaven Hills region. Ste. Michelle executives also expressed a desire for a “Cowboy Nouveau" tasting experience.
Our design team’s branding effort began by conceptualizing the space with written narrative. Then came a cross disciplinary approach; bringing together Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Graphic Design working together to capture the unbridled spirit of the brand in a three-dimensional space.
Honoring Today's Winemaking Process
The site was unique; Ste. Michelle was faced with a decision to utilize a site with an existing 43,000 sf production facility or search for a new location. Many local wineries set up small shops with a mall-like approach to tasting, alluring visitors with one-stop shopping. In turn, this has removed visitors from the craft of wine making itself. BCRA’s designers sought to honor the age old traditions of the region complimented with today’s modern authenticity of the wine making process.
Much like the agrarian concept of farm growth over time, BCRA demonstrated the existing site could organically evolve to accommodate 14 Hands in a variety of ways, including a large 50’ x 20’ mural of the famed label artwork to create a minimalist illusion of a vast building. Moving from the warehouse, slightly rotating the orientation of the 2700 sf addition smoothly transitions the interior and exterior space. Finally, a spacious courtyard flanked by topographic walls break up the view from the parking lot and bring a visual line of interest to the open sky and surrounding hills.
A connected space
The seamless integration of the wine tasting facility and courtyard also sets the stage for future expansions. The 9,500 sf exterior courtyard accommodates 150 guests and prominently features custom sculptural art of wild horses galloping in a bubbling fountain. A gate extends from the sculpture to enclose the space and delineate spatial privacy for private events. Crushed aggregate tunes the visitors senses with the rawness of the land while tall perennial grasses flow in the wind, mimicking the perpetual movement in the region’s rolling hills.
Nodding to the deep agricultural history of the west, many elements of the interior space feature recycled materials reminiscent of the era. Tooled leather on walls, exposed rough beetle kill wood siding and punch tin covered cabinetry adorns the space. Reclaimed wood on the walls feature large graphic panels evocative of weathered barn advertising, exhibiting tones of the 14 Hands winemaking process. A vast 26 foot long, custom old western-inspired bar welcomes discerning wine connoisseurs while industrial style bistro tables and leather lounge furniture invite conversation areas for casual visitors alike. Fabricated from corrugated steel, a large custom chandelier resonates the free spirit of wild horses. Throughout the interior and exterior area, the variety of textures creates a relaxed space reflecting the approachable 14 Hands brand that their customers identify with.
To accommodate large crowds, Ste. Michelle also sought a flexible space suitable for receptions and events, but also configurable for intimate gatherings. A warming kitchen hides behind the punch tin wine bar cabinetry for easy catering access. The oversized tilt-up doors that provide access to the courtyard also serve as welcoming awnings through the interior and exterior space. A double-sided fireplace warms seating for the modern ottoman inside and welcomes visitors to enjoy the traditional woven furniture outside. To allow visitors to connect directly with 14 Hand’s vintner and today’s modern winemaking process, a glass wall adjoins the existing production faculty with the tasting room. Finally, above the lower level hangs a ‘hay loft’ accommodating VIP guests for private tastings at an oversized farm table.
For information about Windswept Weathered Wood contact:
Glen Ehrhardt, President
Harvest Timber Specialty Products
PO Box 59
Lakebay, WA 98349
p. (253) 884-6255
f. (253) 884-6256