I love working with stone in my projects, especially stone that comes from the project site. That’s a common occurrence in Napa. Have you ever noticed how many stone walls there are in Napa? A lot of stone is often unearthed when fields are plowed to plant vineyards. Instead of hauling the stone away, the vineyards build walls.

Viader Rocks
Stone boulders and native oaks at the Viader Winery

I’m currently doing some design work for the Viader Winery near St. Helena and they have some really beautiful Napa stone walls. I asked the owner who build the walls for her and she said that some of the guys on her grape growing crew build the walls in the off season. Working with stone and the soil go hand in hand.

Viader wall
Stone wall at the Viader Winery

As a designer, I use stone to help tell the story of a site. Stone reveals the ancient geologic history of place and when it is manipulated and cut for architectural use, it tells the story of the human hand. Whether it’s a lichen covered bolder or a beautifully crafted wall, the rich tactile quality of stone is as compelling as water in a garden.



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