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Before and After: Inside a California Winery's Extreme, Modern Makeover

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Artisanal design for a maker of small-batch wines

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High-design wineries come in all shapes and sizes—and have been designed by the likes of such starchitects as Santiago Calatrava (in the Basque region of his native Spain) and Frank Gehry (also in Basque country).

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But in the small California town of Paso Robles—about equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles by car, the Brecon Estate winery, a small-batch wine producer, has undergone a sensitively scaled, less flashy revamp, courtesy of Bay Area firm Aidlin Darling Design.

To update the existing structure, which, despite its relatively young age, featured a generic Ye Olde-y southwestern vibe, the architects removed decorative elements, replacing what was removed from the facade with a slatted-cedar rain screen and dark timber doors.

Inside, newly streamlined interiors—rescued from the previous, saloon-style aesthetic—include a display for the estate's bottles of wine, a space for hosting wine tastings and other events. The winery has plans to expand its operations on the site, too, with an underground production building and tasting room.