Napa's first winery gets a facelift
By DAN JUDGE/Times-Herald staff writer Article Launched: 05/19/2007 08:46:16 AM PDT
ST. HELENA - The birthplace of the Napa Valley's winemaking industry is getting a $4 million facelift.
The restoration of two 1860s-era buildings that together made up the Napa Valley's first winery got underway last week.
"It has a significant place in the Napa Valley's wine history," said Peter Mondavi Jr., co-owner of Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena. "It's really a beautiful building - a grand building - and we want to preserve that for generations to come and have the public enjoy it as well."
Charles Krug, the Prussian immigrant who became the Napa Valley's first commercial vintner, built the winery in 1861. Several California wine industry innovations were introduced there, including the use of a cider press for crushing grapes.
Damaged by a fire in 1874, the building has been expanded and modified through the years.
It finally became known as the Redwood Cellar when Cesare and Rose Mondavi bought the Krug estate in 1943 and installed huge redwood tanks for wine fermentation.
"It's a quite large, substantial masonry stone building of significant architectural value," Mondavi said.
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