before and after

Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery

by Annie Werbler

Late last summer Makers & Allies, a California creative agency specializing in design for wine, craft, and spirits brands, was tapped to revive an abandoned vineyard in Paso Robles. The new tenant, Tooth & Nail Winery, would be occupying the 20,000-square-foot commercial castle in just six months from that date, and its “sleek, edgy, and a little bit raw” vibe could not endure the building’s Medieval Disney flair.

The original 2001 interiors were revamped with a fully functioning tasting room where mere mortals might actually want to hold their weddings and special events. The old ceilings were reminiscent of a Gothic church and left shorter visitors feeling claustrophobic, while taller ones were constantly on the lookout for pointy, hanging pendants. Their removal visually expanded the rooms’ height, making it more to scale with the rest of the castle, and removed any potential environmental hazards. The team introduced new materials that felt polished but also a little bit rugged. Three types of steel were used throughout the project: Cor-ten outside, blackened for vertical surfaces in the tasting room, and stainless on the horizontal surfaces. Earthy metal, wood, and leather finishes are interspersed with brighter velvet, brass, and mirrored touches.

In keeping with the real-life fairytale theme of previous inhabitants, a moat circles the structure, though all its armored alligators must have relocated as well. If the property was constructed to imply a sense of historical importance, its new purpose is allowing guests to create their own fond memories within the space, and of course, to enjoy some wine. —Annie

Photography by Mark Gvazdinskas


Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
The new tasting room is broken out into multiple seating areas for different experiences including a tasting bar, communal tables for large parties, and this, the fireplace lounge.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
Before, the bar felt like an afterthought in the space. What appeared to be wood was a cheap plastic facade, and the ADA counter was clearly hacked in to meet code. The front of the new bar is made from reclaimed oak wine barrel staves interspersed with blackened steel. The finished bar top will patina with use into an earthy finish.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
Low tables can be used separately for smaller groups or pushed together for larger parties.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
The riveting on the communal tables echoes that in both the bar top and fireplace. Wood and steel barstools bring the finishes from the bar through to the center of the space.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
Wooden ceiling beams, Farrow&Ball Hague Blue-painted walls, and traditional furniture pieces are new updates with a sense of history.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
The new steel fireplace, crafted by local metalsmiths, creates a warm focal point in the room.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
Speakeasies in the heavy cedar doors between rooms.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
In the foyer, the faux columns and their surrounds were removed, as were other set design-y elements like painted stone finishes and knight suits.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
The old doors needed to remain propped open at all times, and bled air conditioning. For a more resource-friendly design, the team took inspiration from old European church doors and set smaller, easily operable doors within the larger pair.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
An outdoor lounge furniture grouping in which to gather underneath the trellis at the front terrace.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
The front of the castle is softened by new planters filled with flowering pear trees and ornamental grasses. Vines will eventually creep up the walls.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
Oversized above-ground olive tree planter boxes serve double duty as overflow seating during concerts and outdoor events.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
A massive trellis system was erected on the front terrace to provide shade, and with it, comfortable seating that encourages patrons to relax and stay awhile.
Before & After: Tooth & Nail Winery, on Design*Sponge
Planters on the upper terrace with ornamental grasses ease the sharpness of the castle battlements, while framing the stunning view of the Paso Robles hillside.

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