AKA: Christian Brothers Wine Aging Cellars, Saint Helena, CA; Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Saint Helena, CA

Structure Type: built works - industrial buildings

Designers: Percy and Hamilton, Architects (firm); Ransome, Ernest Leslie, Engineer (firm); Frederick F. Hamilton (architect); George Washington Percy (architect); Ernest Leslie Ransome (civil engineer)

Dates: constructed 1886-1889

total floor area: 110,000 sq. ft.

2555 Main Street
Saint Helena, CA 94574-9504

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Building Notes

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1978; the Christian Brothers wine operation occupied the building from 1950-1989; it was sold to the Heublein liquor conglomerate in 1989 and, then, two years later, to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) who made it their California branch to augment the main Hyde Park, NY, campus; the CIA took four years to repair seismic damage and opened the facility to students in 1995; shortly thereafter, the first floor was partly devoted to the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, an excellent dining spot, staffed by students; Ernest Ransome used reinforcing bars embedded in concrete for the first time in a floor at this winery;


Seismic repairs and upgrades occurred in the 1970s and 1990s to building. When the CIA moved into the facility, it spent $14 million to upgrade the 75-yard-long, 15,000-square-foot teaching kitchen area. According to a news report filed shortly after its opening, "'In the [Wine Spectator Greystone] restaurant, cooking is going on within 20 feet of every table,' notes CIA president Ferdinand E. Metz as he surveys the room in a wing of the mammoth, stone-walled, 108-year-old refurbished Greystone Winery. Diners seated at the rustic, hand-crafted tables or stone-topped tapas bas (there's also an outdoor patio) can watch parts of their meal being assembled at the open bakery, rotisserie/grill or state-of-the-art cooking stations. Many ingredients come from the region, including the campus' own herb garden and vineyards." (See Seattle Times, "A new Culinary Institute campus," 03/31/1996, p. K6.)

National Register of Historic Places: ID n/a

PCAD id: 5621