She gained extensive experience from her work at Chappellet Vineyard, Staglin Family Vineyard, York Creek Vineyards, and Long Meadow Ranch, where she was constantly honing her skills. Cathy’s husband built the barn where there vineyard sits and they have been making wine ever since. They make about 3500 cases of wine and I can personally tell you it’s some of the best juice out there.
How did you get into the wine business?
I took a wine appreciation class on a complete whim when I was a sophomore studying Biology at Pomona College over 40 years ago. Wine grabbed me by the neck and ran with me and I’ve never looked back. Wine is a collaboration between many living systems, so I’m still studying Biology!
Was it harder being a woman?
It’s certainly been a ride. There have been obstacles, but I think woman have had a higher profile in the wine business, for better or worse.
What was Napa like in the “early days?”
When I arrived in Napa 41 years ago this month (!), it was rural and depressed, just starting to claw its way back from Prohibition. It was even a little redneck around the edges. There were only 30 wineries then (now there are around 500!) It’s been exciting to have an inside seat to watch it all.
Tell us about how you were able to acquire your vineyard.
Pulling on my bootstraps as hard as I could (and still am). Land priced were much lower in the ’70s and ’80s. When I got my job as the winemaker at Chappellet Vineyard, it came with housing and a professional salary so I bought a house in St. Helena. That real estate was the best thing I ever did. After a while I started buying grapes and barrels instead of cars and houses as a young adult. I did all the work and used other winery’s excess capacity for many years. After a while my husband and I were able to buy Kronos Vineyard. After some more time we built a winery barn – a winemaking home at last!
What is the “Corison style” for wine making?
My goal is to make Cabernet that is both powerful and elegant, speaks of place, graces the table and enjoys a long, interesting life in the bottle.
What are the 3 most important characteristics for a successful winemaker?
Attention to detail, patience, creativity.
Please tell us about Kronos.
Kronos is the estate vineyard and surrounds the winery on all four sides. It is one of the last old Cabernet vineyards in the Napa Valley. Planted in 1971 on St. George rootstock, the wise old vines produce miserly crops of tiny, delicious berries on scraggly clusters. Though it’s a disaster as a business, Kronos is a gift as a winemaker. I’m so fortunate to have these old vines to work with. The vineyard ripens slowly so the wines are juicy, concentrated and complex at very moderate alcohols. Good snappy acidity gives them life.
Too numerous to count. I look for restaurants with good sommeliers. They are such a help.
I know each year is different just like children but what are some of your favorites?
How nice is it to wake up in Napa everyday?
It’s a little slice of heaven. I just need to remember to look up every so often.
Where can our collectors purchase Corison and some of your special library bottles?
We can be found in small, fine wine shops and also sell wine online at www.corison.com. I have always held back nice libraries of older wines to re-release when they’re in a pretty spot.
This recently completed Tuscan masterpiece holds just under 4,000 bottles. It has a barreled ceiling with custom brick niches and wrought iron. The floor is a terra cotta natural stone which pulls out the natural mahogany racking and wine barrel stave ceiling. This custom wine cellar is back-lit, and display row led lighting in over 25 colors sets the mood. The mahogany door features a touch pad locking system and custom wrought iron grill.
The highlight of the cellar for the owner are the hand carved wine barrels which are featured between the two rooms and displayed with led lighting.
Please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars for any of your wine storage needs…and remember, at J&C, we dream in red and white!
This Princeton beauty boasts some pretty cool details such as seamless glass, custom arched seamless glass entry door, stone-back lit stained glass, wine barrel, LED display lighting, and a mega tasting room overlooking the entire cellar. This is the essence of the “restaurant” feel, with one of my favorite pieces (brought back from Napa by the owner, the skull and champagne glass art work.
The racks are made of knotty alder which matched the custom cabinets in the tasting room as well as the ceramic plank flooring which runs through both rooms (and the entire basement).
The owners love to entertain and this is the perfect setting. The tasting room has an entire butlers pantry, touch screen controls for music and lighting, and an enormous table where you can not only do tasting but full blown dinners. All while sitting amongst the wine, but not in 58 degrees!
Please let us know if we can help design, build, and install any and all of your wine cellar needs…and remember, at J&C, we dream in red and white!
Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars recently completed a very custom wine cabinet in the much anticipated Pod 51 Hotel for April Bloomfiled and Ken Friedman — the chef and restaurateur behind The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and The John Dory — in their new casual restaurant Salvation Burger.
The cabinet is made with a custom metal finish and holds just north of 800 bottles. As soon as you enter the Pod Hotel, you can’t help but notice the back of the custom wine cabinet, which was made in all glass so you could not only see the restaurant but the bottles as well. It’s a very clean and sleek design which fits very well amidst the bar, dining room and open kitchen. The LED lighting allows the wine to look as though each bottle is floating and ready to dance its way to your table!
Please contact J&C so we can create your wine cellar or custom cabinet…J & C, where we dream in red and white.
This particular client has an interesting story. We had built a wine cellar about 15 years ago (no frills) in their basement. 3 kids later and they simply lost the basement! This family loves to entertain and became sick and tired of everyone in the kitchen!
They decided to put an addition on the house to create a grown up “play room” with a new wine cellar, 17’x 17′ tasting room, butler’s pantry with dishwasher, and bathroom. This was everything the downstairs wasn’t – lots of glass, led lighting, custom metal wine pegs, gorgeous mill-work, and back-lit panels.
The wine cellar hold about 1,000 bottles and sits in a 12′ x 6′ niche just off of the tasting room. The wine cellar has custom wine racks which can hold 750 ml, 1.5 ml, 3 ltr, and 5 ltr wine bottles. Several baker racks are lit with led tape light as well as all of the metal pegs. The tasting room has a large rustic table and can comfortably sit 10-12 adults (the perfect spot to unwind and converse) and just in case there is a game on there is a flat screen as well as a sound system.
The butler’s pantry has custom cabinets for storage, a dishwasher, and marble top. You enter into the tasting room through 2 large rolling barn doors which are speak-easy style doors and do an incredible job announcing the space. The room has become the entertaining spot of the home and the kids didn’t have to lose their play areas in the basement. Once again there is no substitute for a great design team and why custom is always better!
Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars – where we always dream in Red and White.
We call this wine cellar a triple threat, because it’s both modern and traditional, and has an awesome tasting area. Wine cellars come in all shapes and sizes, they also come in many different design elements, but this recent beauty has a little of everything.
The ultra modern glass facade is highlighted with stainless steel horizontal racking, softened with white oak wine racking, and a rolling library ladder with matching brushed stainless steel hardware. The clean lines suggest everything there is to love about modern design: simple, clean, and elegant. The back room welcomes you with custom wrought iron gates and a distressed plaster finish on the walls and ceiling. The “Tuscan Room” is built out of 100% black American walnut and holds upwards of 1500 bottles.
Each display is highlighted with led lighting and enables the collector to easily access his entire inventory. The wine room features a hidden ducted cooling system which not only maintains temperature and humidity in the front room but also the back “Tuscan Room” as well. So whether you’re in the mood for a contemporary evening, or a traditional one, help yourself to a bottle or two and unwind in the perfect setting just outside the wine room. Imagine you and your loved one entertaining like never before.
Please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars so we can build the wine cellar of your dreams, and remember at Joseph & Curtis we dream in red and white!
Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars has won the ‘Best of Houzz®’ Customer Service 2016 designation. This marks the fourth year in a row winning this prestegious award that less than 3% of pros win.
Best Of Houzz awards are granted annually for Design, Customer Service and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. We just want to say thank you to our TREMENDOUS customers who are sincerely the best in the world! We would also like to thank our team because “individually we are one drop but together we are an ocean.”
“Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz. Hausman continued expressing “we’re so pleased that Joseph and Curtis was voted one of our ‘Best Of Houzz’ professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality.
The owners wanted to store around 1,000 bottles but did not want to detract from the rest of the basement, which has a very large 2nd kitchen, theater room, and sitting area. We decided to go wide and tall but only 48″ deep. Design-wise, the customer wanted to go traditional on the outside but more contemporary on the inside.
We kept the outside very proper with a rich traditional stain, 2 windows, and a glass door, but on the inside we used stainless steel for the displays and colored mosaics for the floor, topped off with a brushed aqua-paint finish. The climate controlled system is hidden behind a louvered grill and produces almost zero noise. Overall the bottle count came in at just under 1,100 bottles.
This particular custom wine cellar achieved every aspect of what the client was looking for: small footprint, transitional design, 1000-bottle storage, and the ability to blend in with the current basement. If we can help design, build and install your wine cellar dream, please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars – where we always dream in red and white!
In the past few years, wine collectors have been asking us whether to build a modern or traditional wine room. The fact that the wine storage area is its own unique space allows the design team and owner to branch out and maybe blend a little of both, which is called transitional.
The definition of transitional in interior design and furniture design refers to a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, midway between old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary. One of the main design features are the clean lines with the wine racks and displays. Color in both paint colors and flooring tends to be a background player in transitional rooms. It’s less about the material than about the color – think earth tones.
Traditional can be bold with vaulted ceilings, mosaics and, dare I say, murals. Modern or contemporary is usually minimalist…clean…peaceful. Here are a few photos of each style.
If you want to be safe try a little of both in your new wine cellar, tasting room, or custom wine cabinet – and by the way LED lighting looks great in any of them! Please contact us for ideas or if you’re ready to bring your cellar dreams to life.
The interior design team for a NYC apartment approached Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars to create, design, build, and install a one-of-a-kind showpiece in its latest project. The owner wanted a centerpiece with one catch, it had to be “eyecandy,” or “artwork” for his wine display. He also needed 200 bottles at minimum for his storage.
Once we came up with the location (in his kitchen), we had to put the engineering team to work for the unique space and cooling elements associated with NYC living. Once complete we began to build out the infrastructure: vapor barrier, insulation and rough ins. The inside of the cabinet interior is brushed brass with black peg wine racks and custom stainless steel horizontal racking. The outside of the cabinet is raw carbon steel with lacquer and is equipped with a keyless Maglock with remote. The overall bottle count came in at just under 350 bottles and is by far “the favorite space of the owner”.
Unless you don’t have a problem dropping $100 and up on your next bottle of wine, you will undoubtedly want to check out this well-curated selection of 15 wines at $15 or less! No one is saying you can’t go all out and get a more expensive vintage, but there are plenty of great options that won’t offend your budget or your taste buds! Quite the opposite, in fact. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Check out the full list here.
Our second day in Napa began with a hike through the vineyards followed by a quick breakfast, then off to Atica Vineyards for a 10:00 a.m. tasting. Antica is owned by the legendary Antinori family who has been making wine for over 600 years (29 generations)! So in 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to discover America, the Antinori’s were already making wine for over 100 years! The property which Piero Antinori couldn’t get out of his mind when he came to America in the 60’s was finally purchased in the 80’s. Located in the Atlas Peak District, Antica’s 600 planted acres are a sight to see. Glenn Salva, the “wine estate manager,” greeted us at the tasting area with a quick snapshot of the entire property.
Words cannot describe the amazing beautiful of this property. We walked as we tasted several of their signature wines, and were invited into the home of the Antinori’s and sat at their kitchen table like family. We tasted over 10 different wines with assorted meats and cheese. It was as if our group had died and gone to heaven. Glen is as nice a man as there is in Napa… he has been working at Antica for over 30 years! Once finished with our tasting, we went to “the cave” which is over one mile long and completely climate controlled. I have never seen so many wine barrels in my life!
Our second stop was Pride, famous for their Merlot. The 235-acre estate blends smoothly into its mountainous surroundings and California heritage. Pride was much more commercial than any of our other tastings but was still very much worth the trip. We were taken to their small and charming tasting room where we enjoyed Syrah, Merlot, Cab franc, and Cab…the highlight was undoubtedly the merlot. We then did a quick tour of the vineyard and caves, then it was off to lunch at Goose and Gander which was outstanding, rustic and charming with a full bar and courtyard and some of the best burgers we have ever had.
The afternoon was topped of at Opus One. Once again we were treated to a private tour with a personal guide who was outstanding. She walked us through the grand vision of both Mr Mondavi and Baron Philippe and how this incredible venture came to be. Modern and sleek with a very contemporary feel, the vineyard is pristine and elegant.
Making some of the most collectible wines around the world, it was interesting to witness the diversity of the guests at the vineyard (Chinese, Italian Greek, etc). Once we completed the tour we sat down and tasted the 2011 and the 2008 in the private tasting room. The wines were tight but as we gave them more time they started to open up. I thought the 2010 which we later tasted was the best of the bunch.
After departing Opus we went home for a quick shower and we were back on the van for a ride to the best restaurant of the trip. Bottega is located on the historic Vintage Estates Property, in one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, the Groezinger Estate. The restaurant is rustic and pure Napa through and through. We sat in the private tasting room in the wine cellar and were treated to the best dinner I have ever had. From the multiple aps, we tried Octopus, short ribs, Polenta, and Gnocchi). ALL were outstanding. Dinner only got better…the short ribs and black pig were amazing. If planning a trip to Napa, please do not miss two places: #1 Bottega and #2 Farmstead.
Could a trip get any better?
The first ever Joseph & Curtis Napa tour was probably my personal best trip ever. Napa is such an amazing place with incredible restaurants and amazing wines.
The trip was conceived with a small group in mind but ended up being 10 people. We left on the Saturday red eye at 6:10 am NYC time and arrived in Napa just in time for the Kathryn Hall release party! We met our chauffeur at the airport and after a 2-hour drive were treated to an amazing afternoon at the vineyard, with plenty of food and some amazing wines.
As always, the weather was a perfect 84 degrees and the scenery couldn’t have been better. It was great to catch up with these clients whom have all become dear friends. We sat amongst the vines tasting the incredible 2012 Kathryn Hall, got caught up with the families and great restaurants and of course what everyone had been drinking over the last year or so.
After spending about four hours at KH we then hit Pulido-Walker, recommended by a friend at Zachy’s, about 15 minutes from KH; and I have to say one of the most beautiful vineyards I have ever seen. The 115-acre estate commands views of much of the Napa Valley from a hilltop at the southern edge of the Mt. Veeder Appellation.
We spent the next 2 hours with Dan who is simply known as the “estate ambassador.” After walking the grounds with Dan, you will not argue with that title. Amazing fig, olive, lime, lemon, and pretty much anything else that smells good and looks pretty surround this awesome landscape. Dan poured the 2012 Pulido Walker Cabernet Sauvignon, Melanson Vineyard.
With 2012 being a healthy crop load with moderate summer temperatures with no rain, the fruit hung unperturbed until maturity, resulting in a fantastic wine which everyone on the J&C tour purchased. I can’t imagine what this wine will taste like after several years in all of our cellars.
Once again the group enjoyed each other’s company as we headed to the Silverado resort to check in, shower up and grab dinner at the Bistro Jeanty. It’s imperative to plan out your trips especially if you have a larger party (anything over 8 in Napa), because seating is very limited. Everyone enjoyed dinner and I for one gave the restaurant 3 out of 5 stars.
Check back for Part II for my 5-star pick and learn about Antika Vineyard, Araujo, and Pride. Part III will feature Opus One, Corison, and Continuum.
Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars have designed and built many traditional wine cellars in this leafy hamlet of center hall colonials where not surprisingly the client asks for a classic wine cellar design with wood wine racks.
Recently however, we completed a wine cellar in one such classic Westfield New Jersey home, but you might be more likely to see this contemporary wine cellar in Tribeca or Miami.
We met with the client and he said he wanted something contemporary, even a bit industrial looking with very clean lines and a design that would allow him to see his entire wine collection (which is predominantly French & Italian) at a glance.
We designed a glass and stainless steel facade with custom made metal wine racks inside that consist of raw carbon steel and stainless steel. The rods that cradle both 750ml & magnums are ‘terraced’ so that you can see all bottles from front to back.
Because of the massive weight of all the steel, we had to bring everything in in pieces and actually weld the steel wine racks on site! The client got a bit nervous when we fired the welding torch up, but we assured him no damage would occur to surrounding areas.
Once the welding sparks died down and smoke cleared, the result was a 16′ long one of a kind contemporary wine cellar with refrigeration and custom humidification systems. LED lighting bars are recessed into the ceiling for a very sleek and clean look.
Guests at this Westfield home will be quite surprised at what they find inside.
Watch a quick clip of sparks flying during installation…
This East Quogue New York custom wine cellar was a modern design which features an incredible back-lit floor with stainless steel interior walls, custom metal wine racks, and custom led lighting. This is the perfect wine room for a Hamptons dinner party, or for that matter anywhere else! For those that like to entertain this is the wine room for you. Imagine that special Rosé bottle illuminated with just a hint of led lighting? Seamless glass allows for an incredible view of both the sexiness of the wine room and of course that trophy collection!
Please contact one of our design specialists. Joseph & Curtis can design everything from wine racks, cooling needs, doors, windows, and paint finishes.
Modern design meets traditional mahogany racking with a slight touch of stainless steel. This 800-bottle wine room located in Long Island, NY is what we call transitional. The entrance is seamless glass around the entire perimeter which allows a gorgeous sight line into the wine cellar. Mahogany racks with stainless steel horizontal displays allow the owner the ease of storing each wine and the ability to show off the best bottles. The cellar also features a glass ceiling which allows the main floor an amazing downward view as guests enter the home.
Please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars so we may have the honor of designing the wine cellar of your dreams.
Modern design has become one of the hottest trends in interior styling over the last few years; the current wine storage trend is no different. Steel, brass, lucite, and glass are only a few of the materials we are asked to use when building wine cellars/cabinets.
Our recent project in Yardley PA included a little of each. The 800+ bottle wine cellar features custom metal peg wine racks, stainless steel doors, led lighting, glass, and stainless steel interior. This is the focal point of the homeowner’s basement and was designed to be just that. With its sleek modern design, it screams sexy and smooth…the perfect place to sit and chill…and oh, ya enjoy some vino.
Please contact J&C so we can build the modern wine storage of your dreams!
Many customers come to us with multiple choices where to put the wine storage area…others have one spot. Under the stair case seems to come up over and over whether it be because its almost “dead space” or everywhere else is accounted for. We are currently working on several under the staircase wine cellars in New Jersey, Jacksonville Florida, Amelia Island Florida, and Miami.
Here is our latest creation which happened to be in Westfield,NJ. This under the staircase beauty happens to be awarded to the first page of Houzz for its sleek design and the ability to store over 400 bottles (no small feat considering there are over 24,000 wine cellar photos on Houzz). This design was meant to last a lifetime.
A transitional piece which has the contemporary aspects of glass and metal, as well as the lasting traditional millwork which matches other elements in the finished basement.
The owner even asked if we could bring stone into the space which we did with the right wall. As we always say at Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars “custom is always better” and because of that we were able to include an additional wine rack on the left side of the staircase for additional storage. Montauk black slate was chosen as the floor as well as LED lighting to make the space ultra sexy!
Please contact us and let our design team create a magnificent space for your wine cellar or wine cabinet needs.
Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal / Barron’s for a segment on wine storage. We chose a custom wine cabinet that was built in a Soho NYC apartment. The modern wine cellar or cabinet holds just over 800 bottles and is situated in the center of the apartment. The modern wine cabinet has full glass on both the front and back side as well as custom led lighting. Please take a look at the video and contact us if we can help design, fabricate, consult, or install your wine storage needs.
Where to begin…how about a two-story fantasy wine cellar with a glass floor, an ultra modern upstairs and a traditional Tuscan villa cellar on the downstairs level with a tasting room. Oh, and by the way, there is a spiral staircase to transport you between the two cellars!
The upstairs consists of chrome metal wine racks which lay horizontally and provide the entire first floor with a dramatic view into the wine room. Four walls of glass make the cellar the focal point of the entire villa. Once inside the house, it’s impossible to miss the complete wine-scape into the Tuscan “play room.”
Total bottle capacity is over 4,000 bottles and boasts two climate control systems on each level. The tasting room has a potbelly electric stove and makes you feel as if you just landed in Tuscany! This is every wine collectors dream. The upstairs wine cellar design is clean, modern and sexy; and the downstairs’ rustic design is warm and cozy. How could you go wrong?
Con il vino L trovare L’amore! Cheers!