We’ve been taking a look at the design of wineries around the world over these past few weeks from a rather holistic point of view.The truth is that while almost every winery is designed with some aesthetic, some just resonate more with me and some are simply a better expression of that aesthetic.
So what of the rest? Well, today I just want to look at the cool bits and pieces. Some of these are fairly iconic elements of their wineries, some are famous, and all of them make you want to visit.
So without further ado, here’s what makes a winery cool. Put them all together and I think you end up with Las Vegas!
The oven of Castiglione. Designed to take in the breathtaking nearly 360-degree view from the top of a hill in the Barolo-producing village of Castiglione Falleto, Ceretto's cube is well-known.
Not only is it a fascinating break with tradition, but the bare glass walls and thick metal floor seem better suited to roasting chickens than welcoming customers. Still, it is eye-catching.
Built in 1989, the dome of the Boutari Winery on Santorini is layered with symbolism. The white exterior is symbolic of the island's architecture, but since there is a law on Santorini that says your building has to white, this should probably be considered a design restriction rather than a choice.
The design of the dome, however, is classically proportioned. And while dictated in part by an internal layout that accommodates an amphitheater and tasting rooms, it serves as an iconic symbol for the island's burgeoning wine industry. It also helps keep the interior cool, as does the white exterior, all good and fine for protection against the sun. But Santorini is a volcano, and that dome looks suspiciously like a Turkish grill. Big white egg? I'm just saying.
It seems wineries love simple architectural features and a large scale. Spain's Bodegas Protos really take this thinking to heart. Their deceptively simply looking winery structures are five huge arches that look sort of like the barbecue pavilions at state parks -- on steroids.
These things are huge, but they have to be to house the state of the art winemaking facilities that fit under these multiple roofs. And it's those roofs that both make this striking as well as functional. It's hot in Spain and wines hate to be hot, so by creating a huge expanse of roofing, the winery is able to take advantage of the thermal mass of the massive triangular plinth the structure sits on without looking like a Soviet factory. It's a win-win.
The Austrians are a funny people, peculiar even. And while Leo Hillinger's exquisite little winery is an exceptional integration of man and nature, I can't help but think of the Woody Allen movie Sleeper.
I can almost imagine that there are giant mutant chickens running around outside the winery. But the real question: where is the Orgasmatron?
This is much cooler today than it was 25 years ago, mostly because I am 25 years older. While I now appreciate art in a different way than all those years ago, the Clos Pegase Winery is still ugly. It's Italian/Memphis-inspired design creates a children's playhouse chic.
So what am I talking about then? Well, how about the more than 1000 pieces of art in the Clos Pegase collection. The grounds are festooned with sculptures new and old, and the visitor's centre houses artwork from the winery founder's personal collection. Great wines and pretty pictures in a beautiful place. What could be better?
Monument might be used loosely here, but Darioush Khaledi, the Iranian founder of the eponymous winery, did build one crazy looking winery. Actually, it's not the winery, but the entrance to the visitor's centre and the visitor's centre itself that harken back to the times of Arabian nights.
Incidentally, it's kind of ironic that Darioush is actually from Iran's Shiraz region. While the winery has stuck with modern Bordeaux-inspired blends, it seems the owner has more in common with the Hermitage Bordeaux blends of the past.
I've been talking mostly about features with these wineries, having previously discussed entire winery designs. But one winery just never seemed to fit in anywhere, so I saved it for last. Artesa is a winery, but it's also one of the most interesting designed I've ever seen.
The integration between structural design, landscape design, water features and the industrial necessities of a working winery is phenomenal, about as close to 'plantscaping' as I've ever seen. Not only has the entire above- and underground winery structure been planted here, but it has truly become one with its surroundings. It was originally built as Cordoniu's Napa outpost, and the amenities really do show.
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