Vineyard Architecture: Italy & France

Vineyard Architecture: Italy & France

Prominent vineyards from around the world have sought renowned architects to design their facilities. Their goal: to make their visual facade as impactful as the first sip.


The latest installment of our Vineyard Architecture series is a tour through Europe’s wine oases in France and Italy. Home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, these countries boast vineyards with some of the most spectacular and progressive facilities, designed by modern art masters.


Archea Associati

photo: Mauro Puccini


ANTINORI nel CHIANTI CLASSICO is a state of the art, gravity fed winery. Designed by firm Archea Associati, the Antinori winery is a fine example of contemporary architecture that melds seamlessly into the rolling Tuscan hills. The most spectacular feature is an elegant spiral staircase connecting the building’s three tiers and continuing to the hallowed cellar. With circular skylights, the roof is planted with vines. The premises also exhibits the family's historic art collection. The Antinori family consists of 28 generations of winemakers, dating back to 1385 with Giovanni di Piero Antinori.


photo: Antinori

photo: Pietro Savorelli


photo: Antinori


Jean Nouvel + various artists

photo: ©Andrew Pattman, 2016

CHÂTEAU LA COSTE - Provence, France

CHÂTEAU LA COSTE is a succulent mix of contemporary art, architecture, and wine culture displayed in an outdoor gallery and biodynamic vineyard. Hotelier and winemaker, Paddy McKillen, reached out to friend and Paris-based minimalist architect, Jean Nouvel, to design a pair of 10-meter-tall, half-cylindrical winemaking chais in shiny aluminum. The rest of the grounds are sprinkled with artwork and installations from renowned contemporary artists. Upon arrival, you're greeted by a giant Louise Bourgeois spider in the middle of a pool, flanked by Japanese architect, Tadao Ando’s, austere concrete architecture. American architect, Frank Gehry's, abstract Music Pavilion is constructed of wooden beams, glass and steel (originally for the Serpentine Gallery in London, then dismantled and relocated to the château). On this 500-acre estate, 300 acres are devoted to cultivated vineyards. The "Art & Architecture" promenade is a two-hour treasure hunt enjoyed with a glass of vin in hand.


photos: ©Andrew Pattman, 2016

photo: ©Dronimage, 2016

photo: ©Andrew Pattman, 2016



photos: ©Andrew Pattman, 2016



Renzo Piano

photo: Andrea Rontini

ROCCA di FRASSINELLO - Maremma, Italy

ROCCA di FRASSINELLO, designed by notable Pritzker Prize winner, Renzo Piano, combines an industrial look with traditional Tuscan architecture. The rectangular tower atop, holds heliostats which contain moveable mirrors that reflect light into the building interior. Piano's concept grows deeper than the surface. Beneath the first floor is the wine cellar, designed with exceptional functionality, revolutionizing the concept of space by posing the question of what really is the heart of a wine cellar: where wine ages, and where its quality improves. Piano chose to set the barrel room in a central underground position, where stable humidity and temperature can be naturally maintained, and the production cycle unfolds within a 20-meter square cellar frame. The result is an idyllic setting for a winery, in the heart of Tuscany.


photo: Rocca di Frassinello

Rocca di Frassinello was featured in Royal Academy of Arts exhibition, Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings. Other works of Renzo Piano include the Centre Pompidou (Paris) and The Shard (London). Photo: Rocca di Frassinello


"Making buildings is a civic gesture and social responsibility. I believe passionately that architecture is about making a place for people to come together and share values."
— Renzo Piano


Christian de Portzamparc

photo: Erick Saillet

CHÂTEAU CHEVAL BLANC - Saint-Émilion, France

CHÂTEAU CHEVAL BLANC, in the southwest of France, was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Christian de Portzamparc. One of LVMH's prestigious Houses, Château Cheval Blanc is the product of a unique terroir and exceptional savoir-faire. From its position in the heart of the Bordeaux vineyards, the estate established its identity through the gravel and clay soils which create the perfect environment for aging. The winery enlisted Portzamparc to design using mainly concrete: their desired material for the fermentation room. In the cellar, the curve of the 52 fermentation tanks optimizes oxygenation. On the facade, the skewed white concrete walls resemble a belvedere. The cellar structure is adjacent to the château, where one can walk onto the roof garden and admire the vineyard’s landscape. In this simple, impactful winery design, no line is superfluous and each element enables the winemaking process.



photos: Cécile Burban

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