The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

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The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
The Culinary Institute Emblem
Emblem of The Culinary Institute
of America
Established 1995; 19 years ago (1995)
Type Private
Undergraduates 300
Location 2555 Main St., St. Helena, California
Campus Rural
Nickname The CIA at Greystone

Greystone Cellars
Greystone Cellars, 2555 Main St., St. Helena, CA 10-16-2011 2-58-32 PM.JPG
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone is located in California
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
Coordinates 38°30′52″N 122°29′2″W / 38.51444°N 122.48389°W / 38.51444; -122.48389Coordinates: 38°30′52″N 122°29′2″W / 38.51444°N 122.48389°W / 38.51444; -122.48389
Area 13 acres (5.3 ha)
Built 1886
Architectural style Other, Romanesque, Richardson Romanesque
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 78000725[1]
Added to NRHP August 10, 1978

The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone is a branch campus of the private culinary college The Culinary Institute of America. The Greystone campus, located on State Routes 29 and 128 in St. Helena, California, offers associate degrees in culinary arts and in baking and pastry arts, and offers two certificate programs to workers in the culinary industry.


The Greystone campus is situated in and around the Greystone Cellars building. William Bowers Bourn II had it built from 1886 to 1889 with local tufa and first used it as a million-gallon cooperative winery and cellar for growers in the Napa Valley.[2][3]

The building is made of solid local stone and stands on a terraced hillside site. The building began as a business concept and brain-child of Bourn. His father, William Bowers Bourn Sr., was wealthy from the shipping company he co-owned and from his Empire Mine profits. Bourn II was a businessman with business interests and residences throughout California, although he had spent his summers during his youth at White Sulphur Springs Resort in St. Helena, before his parents bought Madrono, an estate in the town.[3]

When he was in his early 30s, Bourn began a campaign to build the cooperative winery. He created a business partnership with another businessman, E. Everett Wise, who was of a similar age. Bourn then asked for support within the Napa County wine industry. Bourn met with Henry Pellet, president of the St. Helena Vinicultural Club, who endorsed the idea. Pellet wrote letters encouraging his fellow associates to do the same. Bourn and Wise ended up gathering enough support from the local wine industry, and they hired the San Francisco architectural firm Percy & Hamilton to design the Greystone Cellars. The plans involved the use of new materials and technology of the time, including the relatively new Portland cement. The cement was used as mortar and also poured over the iron reinforcing rods built within the first and second floor elevations. The heavy timber construction of the third floor provided structural support for not only that floor's cask, barrel and bottle aging space but also for the gravity-flow crushing area located on the floor above.[3]

The building cost $250,000 ($6.56 million today[4]). Greystone Cellars was the largest winery in California. Greystone was also the first California winery to be operated and illuminated by electricity, produced by a boiler and gas generator located in a mechanical room below the building's central front wing.[3]

Bourn bought Wise out, but sold it entirely in 1894 in the midst of the phylloxera scourge at a terrific loss. By 1894 it was owned by Charles Carpy and the California Wine Association. By late 1924, the CWA had removed all of the 200,000 gallons of wine stored at Greystone. A year later, the Bisceglia brothers of San Jose purchased Greystone where they produced sacramental wine until 1930. After three years of no activity in the building, the Bisceglias continued operations there in October 1933.[3]

In 1940, the Brothers of the Christian Schools (the Christian Brothers) leased the property, purchasing it in 1945, and using it for sparkling wine production from 1950 to 1989. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The Christian Brothers sold the property in 1989 because of declining market shares and vineyard yields, and the costs of seismically retrofitting Greystone.[3] The Heublein Company of Canada purchased the property and marketing rights to the Christian Brothers' brands in 1990, shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred. The earthquake damaged the Greystone Cellars building, rendering the northern portion of the building unusable. In 1993, Heublein sold the property at about 10 percent of its $14 million valuation, $1.68 million, to The Culinary Institute of America, which used $15 million to renovate the building and give it a seismic retrofit. After completing the work in August 1995, the school established the property as a branch campus. After initially offering certificate courses, in autumn 2006, the campus began offering associate degrees.[2]


Primary school facility

Greystone programs include associate degrees in culinary arts and in baking and pastry arts, a 30-week culinary arts certificate program, a 30-week wine and beverage certificate program, and several culinary arts programs for students who have met basic requirements. Of the campus' 300 students, approximately 60 percent are in the culinary arts degree program, 23 percent in the baking and pastry arts degree program, and 17 percent in a certificate program.[5]

School facilities[edit]

The primary school building is the 117,000-square-foot (10,900 m2), three-story Greystone Cellars building, which is over 400 feet (120 m) long and has 22-inch (56 cm) thick walls. The building houses the teaching kitchens, the Ecolab Theatre, the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, the Bakery Café by illy, the Spice Islands Marketplace, the De Baun Theatre, the De Baun Café, and administrative offices. Adjacacent to the teaching kitchens is the Margie Schubert Library.

Teaching kitchens[edit]

Campus sign

The 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) teaching kitchens at Greystone are situated on the third floor of the primary building.[5] The kitchens were built without walls to facilitate ease of movement and open exchange of ideas. The kitchens vary from common stainless steel commercial kitchens by using materials including granite, stone, tile, and wood. The kitchens have a variety of cooking appliances, including rotisseries, appliances for induction cooking, a stone hearth oven, convection ovens, and numerous large mixers. Baking classes work on 16-foot (4.9 m) flecked granite and solid oak work surfaces for pastry and dough preparation.


The Conservatory Restaurant is led by students of the American Food Studies: Farm-to-Table Cooking concentration in the CIA's bachelor's degree programs. The Bakery Café by illy is run by Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate students. The café has sandwiches, salads, soups, and fresh pastries and breads, and also serves coffee, espressos, and teas. The Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant is run by students in the associate degree program in culinary arts. The restaurant focuses on using local and seasonal ingredients. The dining room has open cooking stations to give diners a full view of the working kitchen.[6]

Residence halls[edit]

Vineyard Lodge I
Vineyard Lodge II

The campus offers housing for 130 students, and has three residence halls: the 18-room Guest House, the 41-room Vineyard Lodge I, and the 30-room Vineyard Lodge II. The residence halls have single, double, and triple-occupancy rooms. The Guest House is located on-campus, the Vineyard Lodges are about 34 of a mile from the campus, with shuttle service to and from the buildings.[7]

Other facilities[edit]

  • The De Baun Theatre is a 48-seat demonstration kitchen that runs daily cooking demonstrations for the public.
  • The Spice Islands Marketplace is the Greystone campus store, and offers culinary-related items, including cooking equipment, cookbooks, uniforms, and global food ingredients. Next to the store is a flavor bar that holds tasting exercises for guests.
  • The Ecolab Theatre is a 125-seat amphitheater-style demonstration auditorium that rises through the first two levels of the building. It is designed for cooking demonstrations, lectures, food and wine tastings, and other special events. The auditorium's demonstration kitchen has a 22-foot (6.7 m) cooking center, large video monitors, and fixed tables at every seat.
  • The Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, formerly the historic Still House building, is used for the Professional Wine Studies program. The building has sensory analysis classrooms with wireless keypad response systems, built-in light boxes, and expectoration stations. The Rudd Center contains a pantry, a 4,000-bottle wine cave and private dining room, and a terrace overlooking oaks and vineyards. Karen MacNeil is the creator and chairman of the center.[8][9]
  • The Williams Center for Flavor Discovery, in the former gatehouse, is used by students for the study of flavors and flavor development in food and wine. The results of tasting panels at the building are shared with members of the culinary industry to enhance understanding of flavor in food, cooking, and wine.
  • The Ventura Center for Menu Research and Development has 8,000 square feet (740 m2) of classrooms, a theater-style kitchen, and interactive audience response audio technologies.
  • A library is located on the campus.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Our Story - A History of Excellence, Professional Advancement, and Innovation". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Yerger, Rebecca (September 5, 2009). "Greystone Cellars". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c The CIA At-A-Glance. The Culinary Institute of America. 2013. 
  6. ^ "The CIA in St. Helene, CA". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved May 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Residence Halls". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ Heimoff, Steve (July 18, 2007). "Q & A with Karen MacNeil". Wine Enthusiast. Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Wine Expert and Author Karen MacNeil Launches New Brand Identity and Innovative Website". Wine Communications Group. March 29, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]