Gleason Barn

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The Nickel & Nickel Barns: For the Love of History—and Single-Vineyard Wines

on November 2, 2012

Nickel & Nickel winery came about through the love of winemaking in our hand-crafted, attentive-to-every-detail, leave-nothing-to-chance style. We pride ourselves in being “wine geeks.”

When we began restoration of our historic 19th century Oakville farmstead, we added our trio of significant barns, each with its own particular magic and purpose. The two fermentation barns are constructed using old post-and-beam, mortise and tenon construction methods, with architecture inspired by old dairy barns. The barns house an assortment of small, custom-sized, open and closed-top stainless tanks, which handle the many small lots of wine that come from our harmonious collection of vineyards.

Post-and-beam, mortise and tenon construction add beauty and a sense of history to the interior view of our South Fermentation Barn. 

The third barn is regarded as our crown jewel—a beautiful, hand-hewn barn that was built in the Colony of New Hampshire (yep – pre-Revolutionary War!). We went back to New England in search of a wonderful barn to restore and add to our farmstead. We found the tired, old barn, had it restored and then shipped it cross country to be re-assembled by the crew of Vermonters who make up The Barn People—a company which rescues and preserves these wonderful American treasures and helped us find the right building to round out our farmstead.

The exterior of the restored Gleason Barn

The Gleason Barn beautifully captures the historical and the modern, with the hand-hewn, centuries-old beams–now housing the enology lab and winemaking offices.

We hope you can visit Nickel & Nickel when you are next in Napa Valley to see our marvelous interpretation of a state-of-the-art-winery within our historic and beautiful farm.


Gleason Barn: First Impressions

on June 14, 2012

“Gorgeous”, “stunning”, “fabulous”, “brilliant execution”—these oohs and aahs from our guests when they first enter the Gleason Barn are always the highlight of my day. Since the Wine Club department moved into the Gleason Barn last winter, I’ve enjoyed hearing the repeated gasps and first reactions from visitors.

Our winery tours begin at the Sullenger House, a restored, 1884 Queen Anne-style home, and include a walk through the historic Nickel & Nickel farmstead, including the fermentation barns and underground barrel aging cellar. But the highlight for many of our guests seems to be the Gleason Barn.

Originally built circa 1770 in Meriden, New Hampshire by the Gleason family, the 3,000 square-foot pre-Revolutionary War-era hay barn was spared demolition by its purchase in 2001. After two years spent dismantling the barn, designing blueprints, restoring and saving the wood beams, the barn was shipped in pieces to Nickel & Nickel and reconstructed in 2003 to house our winemaking offices, laboratory, and now, finally, our wine club offices.

Nothing else says rustic elegance like a beautiful barn, and the wide open spaces inherent to the structures are perfect for our offices and entertaining. We host many of our wine club events in the barn, and also other private wine events for corporate groups. Next time you’re in the Gleason Barn, be sure to look up at the loft area and say “hi” to the wine club girls.


Wine & Song

on April 18, 2012

Let’s face it: it’s not every day that we get to host a superstar band for an intimate performance in the Barrel Cellar. But Thursday, April 12, was such a day.

Guests of Live in the Vineyard  gathered in the Gleason Barn for tastes of 2010 Truchard Chardonnay before moving to the South Fermentation barn for a selection of Single-Vineyard Cabernets, delicious appetizers and cheeses.

Crispy pork belly wonton with sour cherry chow chow, Saba dressing and micro cilantro—just one of the beautiful hors d’oeuvres coming from Chef Trevor Eliason’s kitchen.

The band Fun. is currently at the top of Billboard’s and iTunes’ charts—and with good reason. The sound of their music filled the Barrel Cellar—resonant vocals, expert keyboard and deft guitar. We, the lucky audience, were captivated from the first note.

Fun.’s lead vocalist, Nate Ruess

Following the concert, guests mingled in the Gleason Barn, sipping on 2006 Dolce  and assorted bite-sized tarts. And when Fun. came out for a meet-and-greet, you can bet there were plenty who gathered to get their photos snapped with the band.

Guests greet Fun. in the historic Gleason Barn

Many thanks to Fun., Live in the Vineyard and to all who joined us for this stellar experience!


(Photo credit: Clifford Grodin/Access Bay Area Magazine)


Holiday Parties

on November 17, 2011

As winter grows near I am getting ready for two of my favorite events at Nickel & Nickel. Our employee Holiday Luncheon is the first. The entire staff gets cozy in the beautiful Gleason Barn to enjoy a four-course lunch prepared by my staff and me. After a long year and a busy crush it is really enjoyable to be able to cook for all of the employees. It feels like a family coming together for the holidays, and everyone is so happy and thankful for what they have. For some employees it may be their first year with the company, and others are celebrating their 25th year, but everyone feels at home.  What am I cooking this year? I’m keeping that a surprise …

The second event is the holiday reception for wine club members Saturday, December 10th. This is a fun and festive event, where we get to see wine club members and wish them a happy holiday. It’s great to see the same members every year and be able to enjoy good wine, food and their company. The Sullenger House is decorated beautifully with a glowing fire, festive décor and sweet treats. I’ve heard there may be Dolce eggnog…

Winter may be a little cold and wet at times, but there are so many great opportunities to enjoy old friends and make new ones.