Native Trails, the eco-chic California company known the world over for its magnificent artisan-made kitchen and bath products, has hit the mark with wine connoisseurs with its award-winning Vintner’s Collection. This collection of bath furniture and accessories gives a brilliant second life to oak barrels and staves salvaged from the heart of California’s wine country. Enriched with the deep colors of the wine stored within, these materials are not only functional but also naturally beautiful. And though the Vintner’s Collection is ostensibly a niche product, it has enjoyed international acclaim thanks to its dynamic design, which gives rustic charm to modern spaces.
Headquartered in San Luis Obispo, California—in and around which wineries are plentiful—Native Trails partners with wineries that use the “oaking” method to add character to their wine, in turn adding character to Native Trails’ bath furniture. The oak staves come to Native Trails after having been submerged in wine tanks for an average of nine months, during which time tannins and the aroma of the oak are infused into the wine and the color of the grapes is imparted to the wood. The Vintner’s Collection saves these modest yet high-quality materials, effectively eliminating the need for standard milled lumber, and helps local artisans make a good living from their craft. Giving new meaning to the term ‘vintage design,’ the easy-to-maintain pieces in the Vintner’s Collection only get better with age, much like a fine wine.
“The pieces in our Vintner’s Collection are an especially bright spot in Native Trails’ product portfolio,” says Native Trails CEO Naomi Neilson Howard. “This is furniture with a story and a greater purpose. You can tell this just by looking at these pieces and running your hands over the wine-stained wood. The Vintner’s Collection also represents the relationships Native Trails has forged with supportive wineries. We’ve found many likeminded professionals in the wine industry who are stewards of sustainability in agriculture, and the wineries we’ve partnered with are happy to have such a remarkable way to repurpose spent barrels and staves.”
The enchanting Bordeaux Wall Mount has been recognized with a GREEN GOOD Design Award for the best in modern green design, along with the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association’s Innovative Furniture Product of the Year award, and the U.S. Green Building Council California Central Coast Chapter’s Innovative Eco-Design award.
This vanity appears to scarcely alter the form of the original wine barrel before repurposing it into a wall-mounted bath vanity or wet bar. In truth, the barrel undergoes a complete overhaul, as it is taken apart, cut down to an ideal size, reassembled, and wire-brushed to remove residuals from the winemaking process before a multi-step finishing process, which includes hand-rubbing custom blended waxes into the wood. The result: barrels of style, worthy of any wine lover’s bathroom, bar, tasting room, or wine cellar. Both the 36” Chardonnay Vanity and Cabernet Vanity, for which Native Trails artisans source oaking staves, enjoy a similar process of craftsmanship and finishing.
No two pieces in the Vintner’s Collection are exactly alike. Perhaps the idiosyncrasies show up most clearly on the Vintner’s Collection Bordeaux Mirror ($398), which bears the barrel maker’s original stamp, as the mirrors are made from reclaimed wine barrel tops and bottoms.
The richly stained Cabernet Mirror ($548) is made from oaking staves used to flavor red wine, while the authentic weathered finish of the Chardonnay Mirror ($548) is the result of oak staves soaking in white wine. The finish of each of Native Trails’ reclaimed wood mirrors is enhanced by hand waxing to bring out the color and protect the wood.
Native Trails also sells vanity tops specially made to fit its vanities; options include hand-hammered copper, granite, and both Crema and Carrara marble. In addition, any number of Native Trails’ copper or NativeStone™ concrete sinks works beautifully with the Vintner’s Collection vanities.
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