Wine and architecture have a long history together. If architecture is frozen music, then wine is liquid weather. Each transmutes something into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. But beyond this metaphorical kinship, wine has often inspired (and funded) the creation of grand architecture. And vice versa.
From the early castles and monasteries to the great estates of the Old World, wineries have long been marked by great edifices. In no small part, this doubtless resulted from the simple realities of economics. Those who could afford to own the land, hire the workers, and produce the wine also had the money to build themselves something grand, and often the class affiliations that all but required it.
Not much has changed about those economics these days, and wineries continue to be excuses for grand exercises of architectural aesthetics and vision in both the New World and the old. From Catena Zapata in Argentina (shown in the photo above) to the brand new HALL winery designed by Frank Gehry that is currently under construction in Napa, wine tasting in certain places has become as much an architectural experience as an organoleptic one.
The blog Design Craft recently featured a list of Top Ten Architectural Wonders of the Wine World, that highlights some of these endeavors with some very nice photos. I don't necessarily agree with the list. There are a lot of wineries missing, and some that don't belong there, but some of the ones featured are definitely quite exquisite. I've visited several of them myself.
In terms of additions to the list, certainly Catena Zapata belongs on there. I'd add Scott Johnson's Opus One winery in Napa, Santiago Calatrava's Bodega Ysios in Rioja, and Stephen Hall's Loisium winery in Austria, just for starters.
What architectural wonders would you add?
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Putting a Cork in Your Thanksgiving Wine Anxiety Plumbing the Depths of Portugal: A Tasting Journey Vinography Images: Rain at Last The Mysterious Art of Selling Direct Critical Consolidation in Wine What Has California Got Against Wineries? Dirty Money for a Legendary Brand Vinography Images: Tendrils Highlights from Tasting Champagne with the Masters Off to Portugal for a Drink
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy