These days it’s not enough just to produce great wine, you also need a stunning (or just crazy) winery design to have the complete package. Here are four examples which cover the whole range, from super stylish to downright odd.
1. The Quixote Winery, Napa Valley, U.S.A.
Let’s get started with the strangest design on the list. The Quixote Winery is located in the infamous Stags Leap District AVA and produces just 2000 cases of organic wine per year with a focus on Cabernet, Malbec and Petite Syrah. The crazy architecture is the work of Viennese artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser who creates buildings which challenge and lift up humanity’s view of itself. You’ve probably noticed the similarities between the winery and the work of Gaudí; like Barcelona’s famous son Hundertwasser prefers curving, flowing shapes over rigid straight lines. The winery also boasts an extravagant and eye-catching onion dome which is covered in gold leaf. Wineries certainly don’t get more quirky than this.
2. O Fournier Winery, Mendoza, Argentina
Located in the prestigious Uco Valley, the futuristic O Fournier Winery took four years to build. The project was carried out by the Argentine company Bormida and Yanzón which specialises in striking and functional winery designs. Built to visually interact with its surroundings while having a minimal impact on the environment, the stunning building fits in beautifully with the dramatic scenery of vines and the deep purple outline of the Andes mountains. The huge roof which controls the temperature is reminiscent of the condor, a emblematic bird which is native to this region. The barrel cellar makes use of the resources of nature with rosemary bushes planted above it to help regulate humidity. There’s also a gorgeous and delicious restaurant, Urban, which is housed in a glass cube to ensure all diners can appreciate the captivating view of vines and mountains.
3. Peregrine Winery, Central Otago, New Zealand
Similar to the resemblance between the condor and O Fournier, Peregrine Winery in New Zealand is meant to be an homage to its namesake bird. The roof is set at an angle, reflecting the movement of the wing of a bird riding thermals over the rugged landscape below. Another nice reference to our feathered friends is the winery’s support of the Wingspan Trust which works to preserve endangered bird species like the local Saddleback and Mohua. The winery produces great organic Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling.
4. Castello di Amorosa Winery, Napa Valley, U.S.A.
This striking replica of a 12th century Tuscan castle was conceived by history-fanatic Dario Sattui after years of research on European medieval castles. The winery is another small producer, turning out a mere 15,000 cases annually which are only available to buy on site. The impressive fortification has 121,000 square feet and includes a drawbridge, a moat, a consecrated chapel, and a dungeon complete with torture chamber (can’t imagine what they do in there…). Oh, and there’s also a barrel room with ancient Roman brick cross-vaulted ceilings because, well, it’s Napa and why not?
Have you been to any quirky or stunning wineries? Why not tell me about them by leaving a comment.