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Kitchen of the Week: Part Tasting Room, Part Home Kitchen at Baker Lane Vineyards in Sonoma


Kitchen of the Week: Part Tasting Room, Part Home Kitchen at Baker Lane Vineyards in Sonoma

December 21, 2017

Earlier this month, we featured the Sebastopol, California, home of winemaker Stephen Singer and his partner Michel Boynton, proprietors of Baker Lane Vineyards in the idyllic Sonoma County wine country north of San Francisco (see Winemaker Stephen Singer’s Singular Estate for more).

Today we take a closer look inside the Singer-Boynton household. The living, dining, and kitchen all share an open floor plan, inspired by a Berkeley loft apartment that served as Singer’s home nearly four decades ago. But for the avid cook and frequent host, “I wanted a kitchen that dominated the common space,” said Singer. “I wanted the ability to cook and entertain in communion with the rest of the open room.”

In the house he designed with architect Keith Anding and builder Simon Fairweather, the kitchen serves another, less obvious, purpose: Along with the garden and its outdoor dining patio, it functions as the Baker Lane Vineyards tasting room, by reservation, and is open to wine club members and guests during pickup parties held several times each year. That, said the architect, was a special challenge, “to integrate a private home into its working winery setting.”

Photography by Daniel Dent for Remodelista.

baker lane vineyards kitchen stainless butcher block
Above: The large central island has a butcher block countertop, integrated sink and compost pail, and both open and closed storage on its sides. The breakfast bar in the foreground is made of solid Douglas fir. The doorway to the right leads to an outdoor pea gravel patio with dining table and wood-fired pizza oven, where wine tastings are held in good weather.
baker lane vineyards stainless kitchen
Above: The backsplash of the oversize gas range is stainless steel, as are all the appliances (the material was chosen for its durability, said architect Anding). A Sori Yanagi Tea Kettle is perched on the stove (it’s one of the “Remodelista 100” all-time most useful and beautiful objects, as featured in our book).
baker lane vineyards kitchen butcher block stainless
Above: Beyond the central island, two Miele dishwashers flank the main kitchen sink. Outside, deep window overhangs keep the kitchen protected from the hot Sonoma sun.

One of the perks of butcher block countertops, said the architect, is that they can be refinished again and again to an “almost new” condition.

baker lane kitchen stainless butcher block 2
Above: Cooking utensils are stored in stoneware crocks on the island. The custom wood cabinetry is made of vertical-grain Douglas fir, and the kitchen faucets are Dornbracht.
baker lane vineyards kitchen ceramics olive oil
Above: The surrounding kitchen countertops are dark gray concrete. Within easy reach for cooking: Baker Lane Estate Tuscan Olive Oil ($24) and Aceto Vivo vinegar ($25). Of Baker Lane olive oils, the winemaker says, “We don’t make a lot, but it’s really good.” (For more on Baker Lane oils, see our Gardenista story on the estate: The Winemaker’s Life: A Garden Idyll in Northern California.)
countertop compost bin baker lane kitchen
Above: This being Northern California, “Most of my clients want some type of composting function designed into the kitchen,” said Anding. This stainless steel version is fully integrated into the butcher block countertop.
cookbooks baker lane vineyards kitchen
Above: Singer is an avid cook; his cookbook collection includes titles from local chefs, including Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine, the late Judy Rodgers of Zuni Cafe, and Singer’s first wife, famed cook Alice Waters.
baker lane kitchen artwork singer wine
Above: In addition to being a winemaker, Singer is a working artist (see his online portfolio here); the painting at the end of the kitchen is his.

There is no shortage of electrical outlets in the kitchen, which are placed about every two feet along the countertop. “Not only are these convenient,” said the architect, “but they are required by code.”

baker lane bar cocktails liquor cabinet wine fridge
Above: An amply stocked liquor cabinet and under-counter fridge (filled with Baker Lane wines) marks the entrance to the walk-in pantry. Floors throughout the house are concrete with an integrated pigment.

See the rest of the Baker Lane Estate on Remodelista and Gardenista, and browse other favorite kitchens in:

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