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Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars unveils design for new visitor center

Completion of 6,000-square-foot facility expected during 2014 harvest

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa, Calif., unveiled the design for its state-of-the-art visitor center. Earlier this month, the winery broke ground on the new visitor center which will overlook its estate vineyards: FAY and S.L.V.

At the unveiling ceremony, Ted Baseler, president and chief executive officer of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and Marchese Piero Antinori, president of Marchesi Antinori of Italy, were joined by Barcelona-based designer Javier Barba and local architect Dan Macdonald to reveal the watercolor rendering of the new visitor center by artist Clayton Perry, which they signed at the ceremony to commemorate the milestone. The signed artwork will be displayed in the current tasting room for visitors to view until the new 6,000-square-foot visitor center is completed during the 2014 harvest.

“Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is one of the world’s most highly regarded winery estates,” Basele said in a statement. “When we purchased the winery in 2007 in partnership with Marchesi Antinori, our focus was on enhancing the quality of the wines and preserving the legacy of this benchmark producer. We have been investing in every aspect of the winery, including enhanced temperature control in the cellar and technology like the Mistral berry sorting system, as well as undergoing vineyard replanting, all with the goal of crafting exceptional wines. With these pieces in place, we believe it’s time to continue our investment in the winery and to Napa Valley by giving our customers a tasting experience that matches the world-class wines being produced.”

Antinori added: “There’s no question that the significant investments and enhancements we’ve made are being reflected in the current and upcoming releases. We are very proud that visitors to Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars will soon have a visitor center experience worthy of the wines of this historic estate.”

Barba created the design for the new visitor center to take advantage of the stunning views of the estate vineyards and the Stags Leap Palisades as the mountain and its legend are central to the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars story, he said. Using plenty of glass in the design for natural light, the space is bright and natural, he added. It also allows people to witness the effect that the changes of the seasons and climate have on the vines, Barba explained.

The new visitor center will have a contemporary look and uses materials that blend with the winery setting and elements from the land, the company said. The design team plans to source all of the stone for this project from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ land. Each of these design elements will ensure the visitor experience is architecturally harmonious and true to its natural surroundings, the company said.

The new visitor center will cost approximately $7 million to build; a financial commitment shared by the joint-venture partnership of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori. Together, they purchased Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in August 2007 for $187 million.

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