Golden Age Wine

In the heart of Alabama, David Baker Architects designed a space to further the natural wine movement with Golden Age Wine in Birmingham.

  • area / size 2,000 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Type Winery,
  • Tucked into a neighborhood retail street in Birmingham, Alabama, Golden Age Wine is an unexpected find. The 2,000-sf wine shop and bar is the first in the state to offer natural wine by the glass and bottle. While the breadth and caliber of its offering draws customers and sommeliers from throughout the South and beyond, the setting lets everyone feel at home.

    Natural wines are produced with organically or biodynamically farmed grapes using only native yeast fermentation. Golden Age proprietors Brandon Loper and Trent Stewart wanted the flexibility to showcase an unrivaled selection of over 800 natural wines in a space that captures the honesty, sustainability and beauty of this growing movement.

    After paring back the shop to its 1960s bones, the designers introduced thoughtful details and simple materials to achieve an inviting, uncluttered elegance—with a modest $315,000. The 400 linear feet of shelves read as two broad strokes framing the interior. A custom reveal on each shelf creates a flexible stand for “shelf talkers.”

    The materiality celebrates Birmingham’s terroir: brick tile handmade nearby with Alabama clay, table tops cut from a local stone yard’s remnants, vintage chairs (for most of the 60 seats) found across three states, and a ceiling of reclaimed oak shipping crates from a Birmingham manufacturer. Light fare highlighting regional producers arrives on cutting boards crafted by Brandon’s grandfather and handmade ceramics. A sculpture of dried, native hydrangeas adorns the concrete bar.

    Design: David Baker Architects
    Contractor: Sellers Construction
    Photography: Rob Culpepper