Sullivan Winery

location Rutherford, California – USA
date 2018
client private
program winery
surface 1 200 m2
status competition
design team Studio Akkerhuis


Sullivan Vineyards is located in the heart of Napa Valley, with expansive views of the mountains to the northeast and southwest as well as the surrounding vineyards on all sides.
The site is completely immersed in nature, surrounded by he Mayacamas and Vaca Mountains and agricultural lands. By placing the new building parallel to the existing house, we create frames that capture the rolling mountains and expansive vineyards, as well as create a protection against the sun.

The unique form of the winery was born from a fusion of the vernacular shape of a traditional shed, and a square profile of a modern industrial building. This combination represents the values of the Sullivan Winery–a state of the art winemaking facility that retains the character and comfort of a family-run estate.

The circulation of visitors to the winery follows the linear stages of the winemaking process, which conveys the overall form of the building. Visitors to the winery begin their journey at the far end of the building, where they are offered a glimpse of the adjacent Sullivan Vineyards, as well as the rolling Napa landscape. The visual connection created between the vineyards and the grapes paves the way with anticipation for their eventual destination–the tasting area overlooking the vineyard.

Upon their entrance, visitors behold the elongated, uninterrupted view of the winery and all the stages of the winemaking process. They perceive a tantalizing glimpse of the vineyard before descending into the heart of the winery to begin the tour. As guests stroll through the building, they will first encounter the fermentation tanks, and continue their journey to the barrel room–a dramatic double height space–with a vast array of aging wine barrels. After following the journey of the grapes through the building, visitors culminate their experience at the tasting area, where they can sit and fully revel in the beautifully fertile and diverse landscapes.