Established in 1867, Edge Hill was the first significant three-level, gravity-fed winery in Napa Valley, and by 1880, it was one of the four wineries responsible for over half of the valley’s wine production. After being decommissioned due to Prohibition in the 1920’s, Edge Hill was used for various ventures through the decades thereafter including a distillery. In 1999, the great legacy of the property and its prime Napa location inspired Edge Hill’s new steward, Leslie Rudd, to conceive of the historic restoration of the winery and estate and return Edge Hill to the prominence it had enjoyed in the 19th century. He commissioned KAA Design to help him conceive of a modern-day winery, production facility, and luxury residence, while respecting the historic quality of the original site and 120-year-old stone building shell.
The objective was clear - respect but inject; Respect the rich history of the property and buildings, while injecting a new program that included a residence of timeless presence and warmth. Doing so required an understanding of the historic building design unique to the winemaking process of the time. The all-stone, three story structure housed all of the winemaking processes beginning with the loading of harvested grapes via wagon on the top level, then the crushing of fruit and barreling of the juice on the second level, and finally the fermenting, aging and storing of the wine on the bottom level. It was the use of gravity at its finest.
While the winemaking process was ultimately moved to other facilities on the property, the aging and storage is still done on the ground level of the original stone building. The remainder of the original stone building has been reconfigured as a two-story residence. Bedroom suites occupy the middle level and the top level now contains the main living spaces where the great room and covered terrace emerge to stand sentry over the vineyards.