Prisoner Wine Company Featured in Haute Living San Francisco Magazine  

Haute Living San Francisco recently featured the striking results of several winery construction projects in a round-up focusing on Sonoma and Napa wineries with beautiful architecture. The Prisoner Wine Company in St. Helena, a design-build project contracted by Facility Development Company (FDC), was second in its list of seven remarkable winery designs. 

The Prisoner is one of many design-build winery construction projects managed by FDC. In design-build construction, all of the functions are centralized with a cherry-picked team of architects, designers, engineers, and builders, working under one contract managed by the general contractor. The process includes pre-construction planning, site preparation, permitting, design, construction, and post-construction management. The Prisoner Wine Company, and many more wineries throughout the Sonoma and Napa wine region, have chosen the design-build construction model and FDC to implement it. 

Tour the Napa Valley Winery That Challenges the Status Quo of Traditional Architecture 

The construction management team at FDC were honored to partner with architect Matt Hollis and designer Richard Von Saal for this 40,000-square-foot winery remodeling project. The goal was to completely reimagine The Prisoner Winery and create a nontraditional tasting experience. The aesthetic of the final product, as described by Noël Burgess in the article, “Wineries with Beautiful Architecture in Sonoma and Napa Wine Country,” is retro-futuristic. With all of the design features borrowed from ships (literally) living alongside modern lines, and modern furniture, you can imagine you’re aboard a luxury liner of HG Wells’ dreams, enjoying the luxury, while also searching about for your steampunk goggles. 

Architectural Features 

Burgess highlights a number of architectural features that make The Prisoner winery stand out and “challenge the rules on what a tasting experience in Napa can be.” These unique qualities work together to simultaneously provide a warm welcome and a stimulating sense of adventure.  

Pieces of SF Bay Bridge and Ships 

The Prisoner lobby area with glass doors, reclaimed wood walls, and furniture made from thick wire fitted cushions. Long center walkway.

Reclaimed materials from Mare Island’s shipyard and the old Bay Bridge create the old-world juxtaposition with the modern comforts. In Burges words, “Almost every surface features dark tones of black and gray with accents of the reclaimed metals; the only prominent pop of color throughout the space is a bold blood-red.” The design team gave new life to rusty mirrors, and wood and metal taken from ships. Some of the outdoor furniture employs wood from the original Bay Bridge.   

57-foot skylight 

The Prisoner tasting room, with full-length skylight at roof apex. Metal rafters roughly simulate the supports of a ship's keel. Dark wood paneling, red/gray carpet.

Like the bay doors to the cargo hold cracked open, a skylight runs the length of the wine tasting lounge. The skylight brings light to the black and gray interior, also brightening the blood-red accents.  

Tasting Lounge with Open Kitchen 

The Prisoner kitchen staff working in open kitchen. Gray walls. Shiny brass behind hanging light fixtures.

Just as the visitors to wine country are invited to learn about the varietals and winemaking process, they are also treated to an open kitchen, where they can see the resident chef in action.  

Courtyard with Living Wall 

Courtyard with narrow metal tables that appear to be one long sheet of metal bent down at the ends, to the ground. Metal stools with half round wine barrel seats. Living wall.

Outside, in The Yard, the rustic ambiance includes a living wall, with planters dotting its surface. The industrial motif is softened again, by a culinary herb garden. In the article, Burgess describes The Yard as boasting “a wood-burning oven used to cook flatbreads, smoked meats, and seasonal vegetables for the wine pairing experiences and a culinary garden that grows herbs and produce used in dishes served at the winery.” 

Wine Country Trusts the Winery General Contractors at Facility Development Company 

Facility Development Company (FDC) has over 40 years of hands-on experience in winery design and construction, working with more than 100 wineries across the Western United States. We take great pride in providing the highest degree of quality, integrity, and care to all of our clients. Please browse our portfolio of past winery general contractor projects and reach out to our team with any questions. 

Contact the wine construction experts at FDC online, or by phone at (707) 523-1722.