With the popular Apple TV series “Drops of God”, wine culture is tapping into new markets. According to Victor Deupi, a professor of architectural history, theory, and design at the University of Miami, good wine resembles good architecture. They both emerge from the necessity and ingenuity imposed by the location. Both wine and winery design result in works of sublime earthly beauty. He expresses this in the introduction to “Wineries of the World” by Rizzoli, which celebrates the architecture and design of contemporary wine production.
Publisher Rizzoli is one of the flagships of coffee table books, and the fact that they are releasing a work on what was previously a niche subject speaks volumes about the growing interest in winery design and architecture. The days when a vineyard was merely a stone hut in the vineyard are long gone. Such structures still exist, but most prominent vineyards now reflect the brand. They express the status, prestige, and ambition of the winery.
These ambitions first arose in the last two decades of the 20th century. The new reality of wine production meant that the vineyard became a necessary vehicle for renovation, expansion, and a renewed identity. Investments and innovative designs for vineyards set in motion a movement in which renowned architects left their mark on vineyard projects. Think of names like Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Steven Holl, Santiago Calatrava, Rafael Moneo, Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, and Herzog & de Meuron. In some cases, this led to architecture that overshadowed the wine and the spirit of the place. To such a degree where the architectural expression took precedence over the wine experience and the ambiance of the location.
More recently, vineyards have started to explore less monumental and expressive forms of architecture. Instead, they embrace more nuanced approaches to cultural landscapes, sustainable viticulture, and local architectural contexts. The emphasis is on vineyards that are more efficient in terms of energy and water consumption, the lifespan of materials, and green building practices. They do this to align with specific wine production processes while providing an attractive ambiance for the ever-growing wine tourism market. Rather than replicating traditions, contemporary vineyard architecture has become a modern celebration of the place.
Wine room at home
An increasing number of people choose to create a wine room at home. A place where special, personal collection of wines are stored and cherished. It is not merely intended as storage but as a beautifully designed space that is part of the home experience. It is furnished with wine cabinets that feature refined detailing and exclusive materials befitting the exceptional wines housed within. A carefully designed lighting scheme that serves an optimal spacial experience. It is a place where guests are welcomed to showcase the collection and host wine tastings for friends at home.
photo credits: Fernando Guerra / FG+SG