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50th Parallel Estate Winery


The spirit of 50th Parallel Estate speaks to a designed wholeness of orchestrated experience: a spectacularly wonderful landscape mounted with modernistic, classically elegant architecture, serenely sighted on the land - personal places of private hospitality, and happily enriching experience, savoring the love of the land, the light, the water, the right combination of geological presences that also matches a special, meteorological alignment to other sites - PINOT wine-making conclaves - of the world.

Sahuri Partnership Architects have joined forces with Sheri-Lee and Curtis to embrace what is becoming truly one of the world's iconic wine destinations, 50th Parallel Estate.

If you have not been to the estate yet, it's certainly one to add to your list as fall 2014 saw the completion of the 10,000 sq-ft winery and wine caves, the third of five phases in this premier development. The winery is situated in the middle of the 61-acre estate, and is developed specifically for the purposes of gently handling sensitive Pinot Noir and a select few aromatic white wine varieties, utilizing the natural sloping grade of the site to gently process fruit by maximizing the use of gravity rather than mechanical pumping of the sensitive juice and skins.

When one first arrives, the winery reveals its impressive facade as you drive up the winding driveway between old walnut trees and the newly planted demonstration vineyard. The proprietors wanted the building's architecture to reflect the importance of the name of the winery, with all of the prominant site lines and material being "in parallel" with each other. Length and linearity are common themes with careful attention being paid to using only four mediums to complement each other: concrete, metal, glass, and wood.

At first glance the eye is drawn to a stunning 12" thick concrete wall that frames the wineries name in shining polished metal, but also serves to function first ahead of its form. The wall retains the mountain behind, conceals an access ramp that allows fruit arriving from lower vineyards to be transported to the covered crush pad above, and also creates a loading area to receive winery production items like glass bottles and only the best French oak barriques.

While most wineries may feature a single cellar door, 50th Parallel Estate has commissioned local craftsman to create 10 stunning solid wood doors made from local old growth fir trees to welcome both visitors to the winery and the prized fruit to the entrance of the crush pad. The largest of the doors weighs in at almost 3,000 pounds and all had to be custom made on-site due to their enormity.

The center point of the Pinot Noir production area and the most impressive architectual element in the winery is the 'Floating Crush Pad'. Above the six primary Pinot Noir fermenters hovers 30,000 pounds of concrete and 3,000 ft of steel rebar creating a one-of-a-kind crush pad that has no connectivity or support from anything below. The cantilevered pad had to be tied 30 ft back into the mountain behind to make the complex design work. The crush pad supports the winemaker safely while he gently 'punches' the thick cap of Pinot Noir skins in the tanks from above by hand, preserving the traditional artisan nature of the wineries processes.

Below the floating crush pad and blasted into the feldspar granite mountain lies the first of the extensive series of wine caves. The caverns serve as the perfect home for 50th Parallel's entire portfolio of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, maintaining the ideal humidity and temperature for aging wines. The first cave also serves as a 40-person harvest-style private dining and event space that is custom catered to individual dining preferences, complete with AV equipment for presentations.

The fermentation tank hall has been designed so it can be used as a beautiful special event location. Weddings, corporate functions, and wine-focused events grace the halls of the winery while providing amazing views of the winery and surrounding landscape.

The unique tasting room experience allows guests to sample wines in the middle of the stunning tank hall on beautiful curved hemlock tasting bars reclaimed from the original Quonset building where the first vintage of 50th Parallel wines were made.

The next phase of the winery will include a beautiful glass events space, a unique seasonal wood-fire forno bistro focused on serving farm to table fare made with many ingredients grown right at the winery, and the stunning 'Transparent' tasting room all which will come together seamlessly to complete the building's destination concept.

Over the next few years, the development of 50th Parallel will be completed to showcase all of these elements. We welcome you to "Meet Me at the 50th" for an unparalleled experience. Come taste one of our many award winning wines in our brand new "tank hall" tasting room.

We are excited to have you visit us each year to see how the Great Estate is changing.