The tasting room is located on the second floor of the old Napa Register building. Set on a prominent corner in downtown Napa, the building was home to the local newspaper from 1905 to 1965. Damaged in the 2014 earthquake, it sat empty, but many of its historic details remained intact. The renovation of the upper floor into the new home of the new Brown Downtown preserved the structure’s historic details, while creating a uniquely sophisticated urban tasting experience. High ceilings and existing double-hung windows were repaired and preserved. Within the largely open loft-like space, two separate marble tasting bars and a separate lounge seating area provide three distinct wine tasting experiences, while cold-rolled steel and fluted glass dividers echo the building’s historic, industrial elements. Exposed brick walls, structural steel beams, black stained floors, dark blue walls and plush furnishings come together for an experience that blends historic roots with a sense of understated glamour.

Like most projects set within a historic building in a high-profile downtown area, this project required careful planning and management. Nordby Construction worked closely with the Brown family, Napa Design Partners and Catherine Kwong design to shepherd the project from initial budget and timeframe through design, schedule, permitting, and construction.

“Construction went like clockwork. There were no unknowns and I had every confidence in Tony Simmons. He brings solutions – we’d work with Nordby again in a heartbeat.” — Coral Brown, Brown Estate