How did the scion of a renowned beer pioneer end up in the wine business? By employing the same groundbreaking spirit as her great, great grandfather and applying it to her own dream. A descendant of Colorado beverage trailblazer, Adolph Coors, Christi Coors Ficeli set her sights on purchasing a Napa Valley winery, and found a home at Goosecross Cellars, just off of Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail. Coors Ficelli’s first taste of the wine industry was at Gallo where she learned the basics of production, distribution, promotion, and sales. Gallo is also where she met her husband, wine industry executive, Dave Ficeli. The two took jobs in Napa in 2002, where they fell in love with the bounty of the region, and determined they would one day settle.
Nearly a decade later, Coors Ficelli’s dream of planting Napa roots took hold when she discovered Goosecross Cellars (named long ago for a pair of wayward geese who made the site their home) – a well-established boutique winery estate sorely in need of refurbishment. With funding secured through a Coors family partnership, she acquired the Yountville property in 2013. She transformed the place from top to bottom; it’s now a wine country jewel, featuring a stunning visitor center with sweeping views of the Napa Valley floor. To complete the transformation, she hired highly regarded veteran winemaker, Bill Nancarrow, whose combination of natural artistry and deep knowledge of the exceptional Napa Valley terroir make him an invaluable addition to the Goosecross team. Formerly executive winemaker at Duckhorn Wine Company’s several Napa Valley properties, Nancarrow, a native of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, brings a distinctive winemaking style and considerable skills to the winery’s single varietals as well as their innovative blends.
Goosecross Cellars’ new 700 square foot tasting room and visitor center, designed by Chuck Peterson Architects in Santa Rosa, is reminiscent of classic Napa Valley barn styles, and takes full advantage of its pristine setting by bringing the outdoors in. Architectural features include a soaring ceiling with contrasting wood trusses, a stunning concrete bar flanked by natural stone, and a contemporary, three-ringed chandelier. Earthy tones of gray with the occasional pop of bright color finish the look with an overall laid-back, Napa Valley vibe. Two French doors lead to an inviting outdoor deck, where guests can unwind in Adirondack Chairs as well as tables and chairs under the shade of the winery’s hallmark oak tree which was carefully preserved during construction. Pocket windows on the back bar open up to frame the beautiful views of the vineyard and Mayacamas Mountains, as well as allowing wine service to visitors from the exterior deck.
The adjacent 3500-square foot winery building, which began operations with the 2015 crush, is framed in metal and echoes the style of the tasting room. The interior, designed in consultation with Nancarrow, houses ten 1500-3000 gallon fermentation tanks, plus plenty of open space for small lot winemaking. The overall design also allows Nancarrow the flexibly to expand his portfolio offerings in the years to come. “Our new tasting room and winery mark a new chapter in the evolution of Goosecross Cellars,” says Coors Ficeli. “One that retains all of the charm and intimacy of the past while bringing into sharper focus our gorgeous natural surroundings, our emphasis on the visitor experience, and our goal of ever-improving wine quality. We look forward to welcoming our loyal fans, as well as first time visitors to experience the new Goosecross and our authentic, Napa Valley bottlings.”