Scribe Winery & Vineyard Master Plan

Sonoma, CA

CMG revives Scribe Winery by developing a master plan for the adaptation of a historic vineyard in Sonoma that operated from 1848 until prohibition.

CMG first connected with the client team, an enterprising set of cousins and a friend, to improve upon a prior layout for their new winery and vineyard. The site has a rich history – the land was originally cultivated by a German vintner until Prohibition, at which point it became a turkey farm where poultry inventions occurred. The landscape also encompasses a variety of remarkable ecologies. Adjacent to and visible from the property are foothills, flush with native flora and fauna, that are Forever Wild, a state determination for land that is to be wildland in perpetuity. The agricultural land sits on a relatively flat alluvial plane that reaches towards the San Francisco Bay.

The master plan was to accommodate adding a winery program to the vineyard and a hospitality component of wine tasting, food events, weddings, and equivalent functions. The Old Palm Drive Vineyard, historic house, and driveway were in great disrepair, but we set out to to honor the material history. Many old stone foundations and ruins were integrated into the new landscape experience, enveloped in new outdoor spaces and gardens. We introduced insectaries as a garden overlay component to the vineyard design, and also assisted with the adaptation of the Hacienda for hospitality functions. A new driveway was mapped to arc up the hill where future expansions will occur, and meander across the site’s many interesting conditions. The oak forest and grassland that border the preserve were protected rather than developed, designed to make an elegant transition to the productive landscape and historic vineyard experience. Our work to evoke the site’s unique qualities and attributes in telling the landscape story was successful in informing their intentions for the vineyard’s brand, including the Scribe name.

An arrangement of insectaries across a winery creates a push/pull effect that draws beneficial species through the vineyard, preying on pests and pollinating vines as they go. At Scribe Winery and Vineyard, we designed insectaries to follow natural or existing lines through the site—the seasonal stream below the Moon Garden and along China Camp, the northern property line, and the historic Palm Drive—forming long corridors of habitat for coverage across the entire vineyard.