Wine & Design: Tamera Mowry-Housley and Adam Housley at Home
The Sister, Sister alum and Napa Valley native have carved out a wine lover’s sanctuary in Northern California
“Adam and I live a very packed life,” says Tamera Mowry-Housley. The 40-year-old actress and cohost of Fox talk show The Real doesn’t have just one day job. Neither does her husband, Fox News senior correspondent Adam Housley, 45. They are co-owners, with Adam’s parents, Art and Judy, brother Arik, and Arik’s wife, Hannah, of Housley’s Century Oak Winery in Lodi, Calif., and parents to Aden, 5, and Ariah, 3. Adam and Tamera split their time between Los Angeles and Suisun Valley, near their winery and Napa vineyard. “We just love that area,” Adam, who was born and raised in Yountville, says of the still largely undeveloped Suisun. “It’s kind of where Napa was when I was a kid.”
So how do you carve out space for a life that’s full to bursting? Slowly, in the Housleys’ case. They purchased their Spanish Revival wine-country home in 2011, undertaking renovations as time permitted. “Because we lived in two different areas, it was time-consuming, but I literally wanted to do one room and one space at a time,” Tamera notes. “I think that’s a very practical way of doing it.”
Tamera, who devotes a section of her website (tameramowry.com) to home design, was the one with the guiding vision for a wine-country sanctuary—”but she actually let me have a little input, which was nice,” Adam, who designed the wine cellar, backyard and sustainable garden, laughs. The two make for quite the team, and in May, they starred in the HGTV home-renovation special The Housleys.
Born into a Napa grapegrowing family that owns the local Ranch Market grocery stores, Adam introduced Tamera to the area 13 years ago. She immediately felt an affinity with Napa: “Nothing is too pristine; it’s very natural,” she notes. “I wanted to create that in our kitchen.”
To that end, they got rid of the kitchen’s existing massive, double-decker black-granite center island. “It just wasn’t our style,” Adam says. “The upper level was so high that I could barely reach the middle of it, and I’m six-three. So for Tamera, basically half of the island was unusable.” The couple and their contractor, Andrew Hill of Kolob Construction, and interior designer Tiffany De Tomasi instead created a waist-high, T-shaped island with storage on one axis and a table on the other.
De Tomasi also designed a countrified wooden range hood and island support beams to tie in with the wooden-legged stools and new ceiling beams. Cabinet maker Triple C consulted on De Tomasi’s designs, and local artist Al Hurtado custom-distressed the wood. De Tomasi rounded out the look with brushed, aged and double-smoked French oak floors.
The couple replaced the low-slung, dark cabinetry with fresh white cabinets, placing them higher up on the walls for a sense of airiness. They also added a subway-tile backsplash and stain-resistant quartz counters.
Outside the dining room, an elegant wine butler counter for decanting and pouring shows off the couple’s glassware collection, and a 32-bottle GE Monogram wine fridge is tucked underneath for whites and sparklers. But most of their 400 bottles are housed in the cellar that Adam built into the nook under the stairs. “This is a perfect spot for a wine cellar,” he says. “I found out that it was insulated, so the wine stays at a constant temperature.” He wrapped the walls in cedar, painted the ceiling a dark color and installed a special wine light.
Their wine collection is varied. They love their new neighbor Caymus‘ Suisun-based Grand Durif (otherwise known as Petite Sirah), as well as Napa wines such as Elyse and Alpha Omega, plus Grgich from both Napaand Croatia; they’ve collected wines from their travels to Chile, Greece, Slovenia, Italy, Turkey, Israel and South Africa; and they proudly display every vintage of their own estate Cabernet, beginning with the inaugural 2000 bottling.
The estate Cabernet also happens to be the base for Century Oak’s newest offering. Called Adam & Tamera’s Field Blend, the 2016 includes Petite Sirah from Suisun, plus Tamera’s favorite: old-vine Lodi Zinfandel.
Adam notes that Tamera has learned a lot in the 13 years since her first exposure to wine country. Even a few years ago, when the couple took a wine class at Los Angeles’ Wine House, the teacher commented on Tamera’s strong palate. “She tells that story all the time, how she has a great nose for wine,” Adam says with a laugh. “I said, ‘It’s all the practice.’ ”
Photo credits: Colin Price/Wine Spectator