Wine architecture is the link between architecture, on the one side, and viticulture and viniculture on the other. That can be seen in the area of urban planning, presented through an image of a VINEYARD LANDSCAPE typology; in the field of architecture through the architectural typology of villages and the architecture of buildings in wine areas which are primarily intended for WINE PRODUCTION; in the area of design through interior design, the design of utility objects, corporate identity ... which are related to wine, winemaking and WINE CONSUMPTION.
From Chateau to Opus One
The relationship between architecture and culture of wine has its roots in antiquity. Nevertheless, up to the 19th century we could hardly speak of conscious integration of these areas. Chateaus of the French province Bordeaux represent the first landmark which managed to connect the need for appropriate facilities for wine production and storage of wine with a desire to create architectural solutions that combine modern architectural guidelines, environmental quality and aesthetics intervention. At the beginning of the 20th century they were joined by luxurious villas in Tuscany, Italy.
In the early 70's of last century Robert Mondavi as winegrower and winemaker, and Baron Philippe de Rotshild, as investor, designed a completely new concept of wine cellar named the Show Case. The main idea was to bring consumers closer to the world of wine with help of architecture, which they understood as a medium to communicate with consumers. Winery Opus One, designed by Johnson Fain & Partners Architects, opened its doors in 1979 in Napa Valley, California. Opus One is considered to be the first example of modern wine architecture and a (re)definition of the term wine architecture.
It's all about Spain and Austria
Modern wine cellars combine uniqueness, which is in most cases the result of winemaker’s personal preferences, contemporary architectural and technological trends and local typology. Through this combination modern wine cellars express the relationship between winemakers and wine. Modern wine cellars are, on the one hand, responding to modern wine making trends, and on the other to landscape and local architecture - their key moment remains the communication with the consumer.
At the end of last century in the Spanish wine region Rioja modern wine architecture was born as the response to competition for the global market. Large (traditional) wine cellars have begun with the help of architecture and the world’s most famous architects to build their own (media) recognition. In Austria, the result is the new architectural typology created by young domestic architects and a new generation of winemakers. Wine Architecture in Austria today is an integral part of an integrated approach to corporate identity design and consequently to greater international recognition and sales.
Wine architecture in wine tourism
Wine architecture in the region is, compared to other wine growing regions of Europe and countries of the New World, at a fairly low level. This is so despite the fact that examples of best practices testify of the positive impact of wine architecture on tourism in the wine-growing areas; at the regional level examples of best practice are wine regions Rioja, Spain and Bordeax, France, at the regional level there are wine center Marques de Riscal center (Rioja, Spain) and wine center Loisium (Langenlois, Austria).
Wine tourism can be defined as visiting the wine-growers, winemakers, wine festivals and other wine events, with the main motive to taste wine and/or experience the specificities of wine destination. Wine tourism has been experiencing its rise in the last two decades. In addition to raising the level of wine culture, increase in the importance of active experience and intense leisure time has also been noticed. Based on the definition of wine tourism, we get to new connections and opportunities. Wine architecture and wine tourism may also be linked to the fields of sociology and economics, marketing and PR.
Recipe for successful WINE ARCHITECTURE
"Combine SIMPLE marketing proposition with the global spread of AMBITIOUS wine-making, revival of some neglected regions, and REDISCOVERY of the partly-pragmatic, and partly-mystical properties of TERROIR, and you have the fertile ground for the new ARCHITECTURES OF WINE to sprout."
Nina Levičnik, Wine Architect