When a 6.1 earthquake hit Napa Valley this summer, the region’s wine industry was left shaken, but not destroyed. Among the business affected was Napa’s City Winery, an upscale restaurant and opera house in the heart of wine country, which had only recently installed a new Meyer Sound System to its historic, 350-seat, cabaret-style venue.
When the earthquake hit on August 24, the winery suffered damage to pipes and wine glasses, and had flooding in the restaurant, causing it to temporarily shut down to clean up and assess the damage. By August 28, the winery was back up and running with shows. While the clean up and repairs took some time, the winery fortunately didn’t have any damage to the sound system in the opera house.
“With several cracks in the walls and a water leak that poured 3 inches of water across our entire restaurant floor, it took almost the entire day to clean up,” the Winery staff wrote in its blog. “We still feel lucky that no staff or friends were injured, and that this is all the damage we incurred. We are drying out the floor, which hopefully will not warp, and we’re drying out our eyes from all the rare California Wine from our list that fell and broke, but our will to open as soon as possible is strong.”
City Winery, a chain restaurant and venue with similar locations in New York City and Chicago, chose to install a Meyer Mina system to provide the opera house with a clear sound.
“Many performance arts venues don’t prioritize details like providing an optimal mix position, and this can significantly impact the listener’s experience,” explained Meyer Sound representative Michael Maxson, who originally tuned the system. “And that’s exactly what makes City Winery Napa such a unique place to appreciate live shows—because they don’t cut corners. The space and system are designed and built with the audience’s experience in mind.”
“The City Winery Napa was formerly an opera house, and was built to be a reverberant space with a lot of curves. For loudspeaker system design, the venue had excessive energy that wasn’t desirable. The renovation also removed a lot of absorptive materials and this further increased reflection. The horizontal and vertical directivity of Mina allowed us to overcome the reverberant acoustics in this space with great results,” continued Maxson.
The sound system consists of dual arrays of eight Mina loudspeakers, supplemented by two 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, with front fill and underbalcony delay provided by eight UP-4XP loudspeakers. System drive and optimization is courtesy of a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 processors, and artist foldback supplied by eight MJF-210 stage monitors.
“City Winery was looking for a rider-friendly system, with the best sound quality they could get. It also looked to repeat the success it achieved in the other locations. Low-end impact was also a requirement, and this was provided by the 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements,” Maxson said.