Exposing the Geological History of the Estate
Down we excavated under the Estate Hillside vineyard, sixty- five feet below the earth above, as 4 million years of volcanic geological history unfolded before our very eyes. Most of these intriguing patterns of stone remain exposed in the caves lending another natural dimension to our desire to leave as little imprint upon this virgin land as possible.
The process of excavating the cave brought us closer to the earth’s history creating an even more dedicated approach to the importance that the preservation of our land, water, and air has to the future of the Napa Valley.
In keeping with our desire to reduce our energy consumption, the 11,000 + square Foot cave was designed to function without adding any energy use to the facility. This was accomplished by the ventilation fan system design which enabled the removal of all HVAC use from the entire winery facility. Outside above ground a supply fan air intake increases cooling and fresh air circulation naturally as the air flows through the 24 “ diameter piping traveling 70 feet below the earth for 200+ feet. Air is then pulled through the entire cave and into the tank room by an exhaust fan located in the tank room. The cave remains at 60 to 62 degrees in the summer and 55 to 60 in the winter months with a perfect humidity balance.
Estate Property History
Four million years ago the Chateau Bowell Estate property was a bed of volcanic activity. Four thousand years ago it was an obsidian arrowhead manufacturing site for pre-history man. In 1979 R. Thornton Boswell founded Chateau Boswell Estate Winery and under the direction of André Tchelistcheff began producing Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The original stone building was designed by RT Boswell and constructed with hand quarried stone from a local Silverado Trail site.
As time has passed the property has evolved into a fine example of the balance that can be created between man and nature with wildlife residents and native plants a welcome and enjoyable sight throughout the property.