The goal of this commercial remodel was to transform a former warehouse space into a new, upscale wine tasting room. The Sanfords had recently sold their original wine tasting room in a rural ranch setting with the intent of moving to the easily accessible and popular Industrial Way area of Buellton, CA.
Richard Sanford, aptly describes the remodel, “We started with a shoe box. The challenge was how to make it interesting and inviting for our visitors and bring the earthiness of the ranch into this very urban space.”
Design goals were to fill the space with natural light and bring nature into the tasting room. Another important goal for Richard, who produced the first Pinot Noir wine grown in what is now recognized as the Sta. Rita Hills Appellation, was to create opportunities for visitors to understand the responsibility of farming, the organic process used to make the wine, and to connect them with nature and the land where the wine originated.
The process to achieve these goals was an organic one with involvement by all members of the team – owner, architect and builder. Thoughtful details were included as well as creating a space without compromise, which was important to Richard; the same approach used in his wine making process.
Primary finish materials used were reclaimed Douglas fir, originally harvested in 1912, local stone, metal, and a live olive tree – nicknamed “Olivia” and weighing over three tons – installed in the middle of the main tasting room.
The entrance patio and the commanding Rumford fireplace at the rear are the bookends of the Tasting Room, both finished with Lompoc sandstone. This stone is a local river stone quarried in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The woodwork is complemented by metal work crafted by local artisans. It is incorporated into unique display shelves, wine storage units and 600-pound tasting tables, designed by Sanford.
The space itself is a testament to the Sanford’s sense of design, and is consistent with the family’s dedication to quality and sustainability. It is a nod to Alma Rosa’s roots on the ranch while inviting a fresh, rustic, elegant take on reused and natural materials. Designed by the team, including Richard and Blakeney Sanford, the Santa Barbara firm of Blackbird Architects, with the build-out by Allen Construction, it is truly a tribute to sustainability.
ALMA ROSA WINERY AND TASTING ROOM
181 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA
Open Hours – 11:00am – 4:30pm daily
Owner – Bob Zorich / Partners – Richard, Thekla and Blakeney Sanford
Photographer – Patrick Price
201 N. Milpas Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 805.884.8777
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3640 Sagunto St. Unit 202, Santa Ynez, CA 93460 805.688.0777
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