Peter Mondavi and sons Marc and Peter Jr. have selected award-winning San Francisco-area graphic artist Michael Schwab to create a commemorative image of the family’s venerable Charles Krug Winery for its 150th anniversary in 2011.
Charles Krug came to the United States from Prussia, and built Napa Valley’s first winery in 1861. The winery’s history traces the Valley through its 150-year transformation from Wild, Wild West outpost to celebrated Wine Country destination. Napa’s oldest winery has been in the Peter Mondavi Family for three generations.
For his Charles Krug design, artist Schwab looked to the estate’s original buildings for inspiration. Two of them – both registered National and California Historic Landmarks, and both recently restored – represent the style of Napa’s prominent citizens of the day. Chosen for the commission was Charles Krug’s 1881 Carriage House, an iconic structure bordered by sweeping lawns and expanses of vineyards.
During restoration, the Carriage House’s cathedral-like ceilings were preserved, and finely hewn redwood planks from the winery’s heirloom fermentation tanks were salvaged and refitted to beautiful effect on the building’s soaring interior walls. The exterior, captured strikingly by Schwab, is distinguished by stately cypress trees and grand stone doorways, arches, and windows trimmed in locally quarried pink rhyolite.
“Michael Schwab’s design for Charles Krug Winery transcends time, and perfectly captures the style and spirit of our winery,” said Peter Mondavi Jr.
Classic, dramatic, and collectible, Schwab’s art has won awards in most major graphic design and illustration competitions. His signature style—with its use of positive and negative space, bold use of color and of dramatic perspective—are recognizable worldwide.
The Charles Krug Winery 150th anniversary image joins Schwab’s artworks for prestigious and diverse clients including Apple, Golden Gate National Parks, Nike, and Major League baseball, some of which are housed in the Library of Congress’ permanent collection. The Charles Krug Winery commission will be used to commemorate the winery’s sesquicentennial on posters, point-of-sale materials, and collectibles.