9 innovative architectures in the vineyards

04/04/2013, Posted in Arquitecture, Innovation, Trends, Wine Tourism, Winery - 5 Comments - 7,075 visualizaciones

Spring has arrived, the days are longer and the warmer weather invites to do wine tourism. Wine Spiral Project team has contacted our fellows from Great Wine Capitals and here is a selection of 9 impressive wineries with a differentiated architecture that really worth a visit!



The cathedral of wine: a landmark in Saint-Emilion.

The monumental winery designed by Mario Botta is situated at the top of the plateau overlooking Château Faugères, built in the 18th-century chartreuse style. It is a harmonious addition to the countryside, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mario Botta, “Master of Light and Gravity”, has succeeded in turning the Château Faugères winery into a masterly work of art – a veritable cathedral of wine. “For me, the project invites a comparison between ‘rational’ architecture built by man and the ‘natural’ evolution of the countryside,” explains Mario Botta, “with one enriching the other.”

For Silvio Denz, the purpose of the new winery is to serve the never-ending quest to improve the quality of the wine at every stage of production, deploying the very latest technology. Michel Rolland also worked on the specifications, with absolute priority given to the capacity, the layout and the optimisation of internal procedures.

 Chateau Faugereé - France


The cellar: “The cellars of Quinta do Portal were built within an already built complex, a unit that dominates and is dominated by the landscape (of vineyards). There is no doubt that in the essential and whenever active, agriculture moulds the landscape. This is the first reason for the beauty of the Douro. It is by nature, a disciplined building. The functional needs, as well as the space, humidity and temperature needs determine its expression. It’s isolated in the space: discipline that is extended to the territory”.

Álvaro Siza Vieira was born in Matosinhos in 1933. He studied architecture between 1949 and 1955 at Escola Superior de Belas Artes do Porto (ESBAP). His first work was built in 1954. He was a teacher at ESBAP between 1966 and 1969 and at Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto between 1976 and 2003. He was Visiting Professor at École Polytechnic de Lausanne, Pennsylvania University, Los Andes School in Bogotá and at The Graduate School of Design of Harvard University as “Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor”. Siza Vieira works in the city of Porto. He won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1992. He was awarded the Royal Gold Medal assigned by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and  delivered by the Queen Elizabeth II, in 2009. He was awarded the Honoris Causa degree by Universidade Técnica de Lisboa in 2010. In 2011 he was awarded the Douro Architecture Prize for the Quinta do Portal Cellar Building project.

Porto - Quinta do Portal


Perched 300 feet above the town of Calistoga, Sterling Vineyards offers panoramic views of Napa Valley. An aerial tram carries visitors up the hill to the winery. Walkways, balconies, and motion-sensitive DVD screens allow guests to take a self-guided tour of Sterling Vineyards’ winemaking facilities. Beautiful outdoor terraces and elegant tasting rooms provide the perfect environment to enjoy exceptional wines while taking in the view. The extraordinary Mediterranean-style architecture, unique aerial tramway, stunning location, historic bells, and attention to visitors make Sterling Vineyards a top destination in Napa Valley.

Sterling Vineyards - Napa Valley


In Mendoza´s best of  ”architecture & landscapes” case is represented by the Bormida & Yanzon´s wineries.

They carry out several ”breathtaking architecture” projects which represents the development and contribution of the architecture firm to the modern architecture in the winery, which have even developed outside Argentina.

This photo belogns to Bodegas Diamandes. The winery’s architectural design was inspired in the name DiamAndes. The name is a pun on the words “diamante” (Spanish for “diamond”) and “Andes” (the name of the mountains that provide a background to the estate). Alfred-Alexandre Bonnie came up with it one day as he was enjoying a barbecue at Laguna del Diamante, in Mendoza. The reflection of the Maipo volcano on the lake made him associate the two words.

The winery’s architecture is the work of Mendocinian Architects Mario Yanzón and Eliana Bórmida.

Bodega Diamandes - Mendoza


Bodegas Ysios was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava for the Bodegas & Bebidas group in Rioja. Located north of the village of Laguardia in a valley backed by the Sierra Cantabria mountain range. The building combines a unique rolling roof and wall design with all the necessary functionality for a working  winery.

The front and back walls, paneled with American cedar planks have a sinusoidal shape, supporting a roof made of aluminum panels that, when seen in the reflecting pools in front of the winery, are reminiscent of wine barrels.  A glass-paneled balcony juts out over the front wall, reminding the visitor of the prow of a ship.

Ysios - Rioja Bilbao


Opened in June 2012, Wasems Kloster Engelthal has attracted a great deal of attention since then. Apart from the Great Wine Tourism Award in both categories – national and international -  in 2013, this innovative wine centre was also presented with the design award established by the town of Ingelheim am Rhein and the architecture award Wine 2013 created by the German Wine Institute (DWI).

The architect’s office Hille – responsible for the exterior design – and the interior designers Cornelia Schroff-Graf und Willi Hubor have created a perfect integration of the historic remains of the erstwhile monastery of Engelthal and the new central building constructed out of concrete and glass, serving as a kind of hinge at the middle of the old undressed stone buildings. Housing a vinothek, several meeting facilities and a wine tavern, the barn and the courtyard at the centre of the monastery are a perfect venue to relax and enjoy some wine.

Wasems Kloster - Mainz (Germany)


Waterkloof is a beacon of architectural excellence atop the Schapenberg Hills. The spectacular building design is based around virtues that echo our winemaking style, such as honesty and transparency.

“Waterkloof is committed to making elegant wines in the most honest and authentic method possible,” says Waterkloof’s architect Mitch Hayhow, Director of Castle Rock Design. “Clearly, the building must be a reflection of this commitment. The principle of the design is based around honesty, transparency and authenticity. There is the absolute minimum of applied finishes. Rather we wanted the natural materials to be expressed, warts and all.”

Waterkloof - Cape Town (SA)


This winery is very clever, it has created a camouflage to go with its name. Two Wellington companies  Bevin Slessor Architects and Hugh Tenant Architects brought together their considerable skills to create a functional winery using very simple but contemporary building forms and materials.

The building is made from sandwich panel and steel and it has been ingeniously clad to create a striking look that complements the rural environment. The roof contours the surrounding mountain ridgelines to help blend in and be gentle on the surrounding landscape.  The tasting room offers 180 degree views of the estate vineyards which are forever changing year round depending on the seasons.

Spy winery - Christchurch (New Zealand)


The difficulty and complexity of this project was made only easier by the fact that the architect Agnese Mazzei has known the cantina since she was born.  The cellar is 75%  under ground level with an area space of 10000 sqm.  The technological process of the project uses the force of gravity to transport the naturally fallen grapes into the presses, the three  floors are on a single level, surrounded by forklifts everywhere.  In the barricaia, the majestic wall was left as it is, magnificent and imposing, the soft spotlights illuminating the water as it cascades down the wall’s rocky facade, the symphony of the water soothing and calming.  More important, the ever-present humidity is perfect for natural wine conservation.  The facials have been covered by simple clay bricks, designed  by the Studio, creating a very lighting effects.  An immense centrally located semicircle area is where the grapes are collected, originating from the piazza above into the tinaia.  This central space is the base of all the activities of the cantina, as it looks out into the other departments as well as the receiving area.

The cantina distinguishes itself by its classic modernity in style and use of space.  Traditional materials are utilized in a contemporary way to enhance its functionality.  It speaks of harmony and equilibrium between nature, its land and its ancient village.  It welcomes and entices its visitors to a journey of continuous admiration and wonder. Its barricaia stirs the emotions and stimulates all the senses, a space so beautiful, almost sacred and sacrosanct!  Yes, everything in this cellar is real!  Nothing was made for marketing.  The wine is without doubt a masterpiece because here, everything was done to conjure and to give rise only it’s very best.

Castelo di Fonterutoli - Florence - Italy


Thanks to all the represantives from Great Wine Capitals for their cooperation. Remember you can join Great Wine Capitals Network on Wine Spiral Project here. 



  1. by Catherine Leparmentier  (04/04/2013 - 16:12)

    We’d like to emphasize the fact that those 9 wineries have received a Best Of Wine Tourism award for their architectural assets!

  2. by Wine Spiral Project  (04/04/2013 - 16:15)

    Thanks Catherine! They really deserve the award! :-)

  3. by Wine Pleasures  (05/04/2013 - 19:23)

    Dr. Fabrizio Bucella shared with us at this years International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) in Croatia his thesis research on architecture and wine. Yes, they are related. Bordeaux and Rioja have taken the approach of having wineries designed by a well-known architect. The idea is that wine is more than a product to eat or drink and it can be highlighted in additional ways. Putting a focus on winery architecture will bring new wine tourists to the wineries and the region. Speaker notes are not ready yet but keep a look out at http://www.iwinetc.com/iwinetcspeakers/fabrizio-bucella-croatia-2013/

  4. by Wine Spiral Project  (08/04/2013 - 09:34)

    Thanks for your comment Wine Pleasures, We totally agree in promoting wine tourism through wine architecture plus a good offer of alternatives activities to enjoy the wine world.

  5. by Juddy Fox  (12/04/2013 - 09:13)

    Really nice article on wine tourism… it inspires a wine world tour!! :-)

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