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; 20 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 Revival, 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 Route 29/128 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 campus' primary facility is a 117,000-square-foot (10,900 m2) stone building, built from 1886 to 1889 and used as a winery until its sale to the school in 1993. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


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]


A three-story stone Romanesque building
Primary school facility

The campus' 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 around 400 feet (120 m) long and has 22-inch (56 cm) thick walls. The building houses teaching kitchens, the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, the Bakery Café by illy, the Spice Islands Marketplace (the campus store), the De Baun and Ecolab Theatres (auditoriums and cooking demonstration facilities, also used as lecture halls), 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 on the third floor of the primary building.[5] The kitchens were built without interior walls in order 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, combi steamers, French tops, and numerous large mixers. The baking and pastry kitchen has 16-foot (4.9 m) flecked granite and solid oak tables for pastry and dough preparation.

On the first floor, the 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) Viking Teaching Kitchen is designed for 36 to 40 students at a time. The kitchen appliances and equipment were donated by Viking Range Corporation's founders. The redesigned kitchen was part of a comprehensive redesign of the building's first floor, which also involved the completion of a chocolate-making facility and the campus store and Flavor Bar.


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]

A beige one-story building
A yellow two-story building
Vineyard Lodge I (top);
Vineyard Lodge II (bottom)

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]

The campus' newest residence hall, Vineyard Lodge II, was built as the campus expected to double its enrollment. The building has two-stories, 31 dorm rooms, a kitchen, an activity room, an outside deck and two manager's rooms. The school planned for an environmentally-oriented dormitory, with solar panels to cover some of the building's electrical needs, as well as a membrane system for waste water. The building also has board and batten siding, which lasts longer than wooden siding. The building, on Pratt Avenue in St. Helena, is the first building in the city to be metal-framed rather than wood-framed, to better prevent termites, mold, and fire. The school estimated costs of $4 million for a Napa-based construction company to construct the building. The company demolished a 1,750-square-foot (163 m2) laundry and facilities building in what was described as a green-oriented process. At the time of construction, the school annually enrolled 104 students; the new residence hall would allow the campus to enroll another 100 students.[8]

Other facilities[edit]

A low stone building and parking spaces
The Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies
  • 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 facility's Still House building, is used for the Professional Wine Studies program and was named after the Rudd family of Rudd Farms. 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. Karen MacNeil is the creator and chairman of the center.[9][10] The building opened in 2003 for a wine professional credential; the school began its wine and beverage certification program in 2010. In 2013 the school began a wine, beverage, and hospitality concentration in its bachelor's degree program.[11]
  • 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.


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 The CIA At-A-Glance. The Culinary Institute of America. 2013. 
  6. ^ "The CIA in St. Helena, CA". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved May 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Residence Halls". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ Lindblom, John (March 12, 2009). "A new dorm for the CIA". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved February 22, 2015. 
  9. ^ Heimoff, Steve (July 18, 2007). "Q & A with Karen MacNeil". Wine Enthusiast. Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Wine Expert and Author Karen MacNeil Launches New Brand Identity and Innovative Website". Wine Communications Group. March 29, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies". Mise en Place (67): 19. October 2014. 

External links[edit]