A Winery Before Its Time
This landscape emphasizes winemakers’ ties with agriculture—and with the “other Washington.”
By Clair Enlow
Biophilia” is the word of the moment in the ecocentric
practice of Mithun, a multidisciplinary design firm in Seattle. It’s a holistic
ideal: sensory richness, economy of means, and regeneration, and it’s also the
theme of Mithun’s recent project, Novelty Hill
• Januik Winery, in nearby
The hardworking winery and visitor spaces do seem to function
seamlessly, like a healthy organism. There’s a strong modernist honesty about
the industrial nature of the place. From the rotating crusher to the steel
fermentation tanks to the oak barrels, the entire process of wine making is
visible and accessible behind glass walls.
It all flows together with the pleasures of the garden.
Long, extended walls channel visitors outside, where they wander freely on
scissoring terraces—pulling up chairs on the gravel under rows of ash trees,
playing in the bocce court, and contemplating the not-so-distant wooded
Novelty Hill was founded by high-tech venture capital
investor Tom Alberg and his wife, Judi Beck, in 2000. Mike Januik, who made
wine for Chateau St. Michelle for a decade, crafts the wine for the Novelty
Hill and Januik labels, both made on site.
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