New Floors from Mondavi Oak Barrels

California wine barrels, once destined for yard mulch, landscape planters and liquor store displays, are now finding a sophisticated new use:

Flooring, from the Napa Valley’s Mondavi family.

Rob and Lydia Mondavi, fourth-generation members of the wine-making family, are partnering with Authentic Wood Flooring out of Locust Grove, Ga. to introduce Reserve Barrel, today at the NAHB International Builders’ show in Las Vegas.

The reclaimed flooring, made from barrel heads and staves as well as tanks, is only part of what will eventually evolve into the Mondavi Home Collection, the couple says.

“This is the kickoff – and just the beginning of the game,” Lydia Mondavi says. “In spring and fall, we’ll see some other things for architecture and design.”

The new flooring was inspired by their parents’ use of reclaimed French and American oak floors for a parquet floor that “pops” in their dining room in Napa, as well as the couple’s own wine cellar there. With a recent move to Beaufort, S.C., the couple has begun work on a show home on the water, featuring the reclaimed floors.

“Depending on what wines were housed in the barrels determine the color of the floors,” she says. “It could be a toasted oak, all the way to a dark ebony color. In our home, it’s a silver gray oak.”

The aging process of the wine affects the color of the wood. Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, imparts a dark hue because it’s aged for several years. As it’s planed down, the wood lightens.

“There are caramelized sugar hues, like a crème brulee,” Rob Mondavi says. “For barrels aging white wine, the air imparts a hue that’s a golden, hay color.”

They envision the woods used in tandem, with golden oak next to ruby red, aside a deep purple. Or, it could be used monochromatically. “I can see golden hues throughout a home, or even a feature for a wall,” he says.

Either way, it’s a custom, crafted product, at what they call an affordable price point.

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