The Great Hall acts as an organizing space for the ground floor. To the east is the Founder’s Room and its terrace, which celebrates the winery’s founder, Joseph Phelps. To the west is The Library, where temperature-controlled cases display over forty years of wines made by Joseph Phelps Vineyards. The long steel and glass walls of this room allow views in from the Great Hall and of the giant oblong barrels that line the Oval Room. The Oval Room was added to the original John Marsh Davis building four years after it was built, to accommodate large oak winemaking barrels and to provide a space to hold large receptions.
We have re-envisioned this room by opening it up to spectacular views of Spring Valley to the west through the addition of a trellised portico. The great oak ovals have been restored and subtly rearranged to provide three entry points into the room, allowing visitors to appreciate the sculptural quality of the massive structures. One of the hallmarks of the original space was a long shelf around the room that Joe Phelps used to display the empty bottles of significant wines that he and his family enjoyed with friends over the years. These have been returned to their place of honor and show the range of his exploration of the great wines of the world.
The winery has always been interested in the exploration of wine and fine dining, and a new commercial kitchen off the north side of the Great Hall connects to a dining room off the Oval Room. At the opposite end, the Insignia Room celebrates the signature wine produced by the winery. All three rooms open onto a new western terrace, with its spectacular view over Spring Valley.
The winery does not have a typical tasting bar; instead, the various rooms described above are used for in-depth seminars led by wine educators. Each of these rooms is purposely very different from the other in scale and decoration, as to provide a series of different experiences to winery visitors over multiple visits. Less formal tastings are held on the terrace. At the center of the terrace is John Marsh Davis’ original trellis, which has been relocated to reinforce the cross axis of the building from the Founder’s Room through Great Hall, Library and Oval Room.