Allegrini 2018

The beauty of wine, its architecture, and its landscapes in two words: designer wineries

The ideas of design studios that have created some of the most futuristic and famous wine “temples” in Tuscan vineyards, by “Casabella”

A client whose origins date back to the Renaissance was the inspiration for the most beautiful winery in the world. It was “an extraordinary “silent” work because it is underground and sustainable, but at the same time powerful in its hilly outline that recalls Lucio Fontana’s famous slashes. It is in a famous landscape, like Tuscany, characterized by significant human presence and shaped by agriculture, conceived by combining production needs respecting the territory as well as protecting its beauty. It was created from the client's desire to return to the earth, reunifying the financial and commercial part, which had been managed since the fourteenth century in Palazzo Antinori, built by Giuliano da Maiano in Florence. And also, transferring the production, the “core” of the company from the “heart of the Renaissance” to its starting point, at a time when the business had joined the Vintners Guild”, Architect Laura Andreini explained describing the Antinori winery in Chianti Classico, “World's Best Vineyards 2022”, at Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence, during the conference, “The architecture of wineries and wine tourism”, at the opening of the “Settimana di Anteprime Toscane 2023” with “Casabellaformazione”, and the architecture studios that have designed some of the most futuristic and famous projects in the Tuscan vineyards. The Antinori winery was designed by ARCHEA Associati, of which she is co-founder together with Marco Casamonti and Giovanni Polazzi, for Marchesi Antinori, a historic wine family linked to the Italian guild.
The Podernuovo Winery, or the “Bulgari Winery” in Palazzone in San Casciano dei Bagni, was designed by Massimo Alvisi and Junko Kirimoto, founders of the Alvisi+Kirimoto studios. Some of the concepts that inspired their project came from the search for Renaissance perfection, “to the asymmetry of beauty because everyone projects his or her own experience into it, based on Oriental arts and like the architect, Bruno Zevi, who described Villa Madama in Rome one of the most beautiful works of architecture and nature, in which the perspective vision of the Renaissance is held back, space is temporal, and it is integrated into the urban and natural context”. “We were looking for the perfect place on the Bulgari family’s properties for a concept that respected the organization of the spaces, according to the owners and the oenologist at the time, Riccardo Cotarella, to be able to admire the vineyards and their extraordinary landscape from every level as well as having every phase of the production work in sight to see how it works. So, we thought of partitions in reinforced concrete that could even brutally oppose nature, to then seek a sustainable dialogue and integration, thanks also to materials, including local crafts, which could be transformed according to the colors of the landscape and to the seasons, evolving over time”.
One of the conditions that inspired the Masseto Winery, based on production philosophy, as Hikaru Mori, founder together with Maurizio Zito, of the Zitomori Studio, and architect of the wine “temple” of Masseto for Frescobaldi, between the hills and the seaside of Bolgheri (winner of the “In/Architettura Toscana 2020” award as the best new construction project exceeding 5 million euros), explained, “was giving a personalized and dynamic image to the winery. It had previously been integrated within the Ornellaia Estate and reflected the Masseto, the top-of-the-range brand, worldwide image. A place that represented a very high-quality consolidated brand and target, just a few connoisseurs-experts, and that was also a perfect gravity flow production machine. This is the reason we developed the idea of a winery completely buried in the hill, representing a mine from which precious materials are extracted. And, as always our projects marry the concept of architecture to the beauty of the territory and its vineyards, created by not building but by extracting the monolithic mass and using poor materials that enhance the prestige of the brand. We used a mobile stone wall that hides the vault where the bottles of each vintage are kept, which transforms the transparent shelving into a glass wall, giving a unique effect. We also used blue clay for the emerged space of the winery symbolizing both revelation and mystery, and from which you can admire the sea that represents the uniqueness of Masseto”.
One of the fundamental aspects of Marchesi Antinori's Il Bruciato winery is “the Antinori family considers Bolgheri a ‘second Florence’”, Fiorenzo Valbonesi of the Fiorenzo Valbonesi studio - asv3 - architecture workshop, who designed it, said. “The Antinori winery in Chianti Classico represents a return to the earth, while Il Bruciato Winery is a wine phenomenon, a typology that others also produce, and very well known, as well. What they have in common is the desire to communicate who the Antinoris are”, through architecture, like in Renaissance times. The rhythmic deconstruction of the architecture recalls the Fibonacci sequence, “in the different facades that flow into each other. The building required quality construction, a good environmental impact, and dunes, which by hiding the winery, minimize the impact on the exceptional beauty of the surrounding landscape. We will also be completing work on the new underground winery of Guado al Tasso and Matarocchio, in 2023. Working in Bolgheri means working in special conditions. Tuscany is magical. The light of Bolgheri, reflected in the Il Bruciato Winery is unique, and reminiscent of Etna, and it is not a coincidence that these two are among the last major territories to have made a name for themselves on the International scene, while all the others had been mapped out”.
The incomparable blend of art, culture, nature, and craftsmanship is the traveling driver that makes Tuscany a trailblazing land of wine tourism, “a phenomenon that is continuing to grow rapidly, generating related activities, encouraging many farmers to carry out these activities. It does not create envy among leading or less famous wineries, because it benefits everyone, and the strength of our territories”, Gennaro Giliberti, Agriculture Manager of the Tuscan Region, said during the meeting (the continuation of the International “symposium" in 2020, which featured the wineries of the “Tuscan Wine Architecture” network). The merit goes to its numbers, but, Roberta Garibaldi, author of the “Report on Food and Wine Tourism in Italy” and vice president of the OECD Tourism Commission, emphasized, also to trends dictated by wine tourists’ needs. For instance, the fact that wine tourism can and must become a journey to combine the passion for wine with the desire to get to know places and people, explore their history and traditions, and also find holistic, physical, and mental well-being, in prestigious environmental contexts. Discovering and tasting local wine productions is still central, though it is no longer the only reason to travel. The cultural value of the wine is a unique mix of product, terroir, and people, pioneered by wineries such as Ceretto, in the Langhe of Barolo through art, captivating and attracting more and more people. It goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability and the economic and social development of companies. Tourists are generalist, “cultural”, very active, of all ages, and consider a visit to the wineries an opportunity for cultural enrichment. They come into contact with the identity, traditions, and culture, including wine, of the place they are visiting. It is also in the cities, where there are "urban vineyards" or the reborn productions, like the wine of the Colosseum or Pompeii. These create a new connection between urban and rural, or “hubs”, to get to know the area and its products before visiting it, like the “Tempio del Brunello” in Montalcino, designed by Opera Laboratori. The search for well-being, thanks to the pleasantness of the places and the healthy dimension wine and food are continually striving towards in more and more companies and restaurants represent a break from everyday life. One of the “dream destinies” is designer wineries, where the most famous Italian wines are produced.
Notice for lovers of the genre: from February 12th to the 19th you can admire the most beautiful and spectacular designer wineries in Tuscany and Italy, which tell the story of their connection to the territories, architecture, and wine, at Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. The photographic exhibition, “New Italian Wineries. Territories and Architectures”, has been edited by the historic magazine, Casabella (patronage of the Tuscan Region, the Metropolitan City of Florence, the Tuscan Federation of PPC Architects, the Order of PPC Architects of Florence and Inarch/Tuscany).

Focus - The exhibition “New Italian Wineries. Territories and Architectures”, from Verona to the Langhe, from Merano to Florence

The exhibition, “New Italian Wineries. Architectures and Territories is a project organized by the magazine, “Casabella, created in collaboration with ProViaggiArchitettura. It is a photographic show dedicated to designer wineries in Italy, which tell the story of the territory and the link between architecture and wine. The show started in Verona, during and with the patronage of “Vinitaly”, and then moved to the Langhe, at the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo with the patronage of Slow Food, to then find space in Merano at the Kunst Meran, in collaboration with “Merano Arte” during the “Merano Wine Festival”. It has now come to Florence, at Palazzo Medici Riccardi, because, out of the 11 wineries on display (10 wineries and 1 distillery), 4 are located in Tuscany. The show was curated by Roberto Bosi and Francesca Chiorino and organized by the Bricolo Falsarella Studio in the Galleria delle Carrozze. The exhibition is open, admission free, from February 12th to 19th. A catalog published by Electaarchitettura is available at the show. The next stop, Roberto Bosi has announced, will be June 10th, in San Mauro Pascoli, in Emilia Romagna, the birthplace of the poet Giovanni Pascoli, specifically in Villa Torlonia, once the heart of the rural Estates owned by the Torlonia family, administered by the father, Ruggero, of young Giovanni, who saw his faithful “cavallina storna” (dapple-grey mare) return home alone, without his father.

The “New Italian Wineries”

Alvisi Kirimoto, Podernuovo Winery (Siena)
Archea Associati, Antinori Winery in Chianti Classico (Florence)
Bergmeisterwolf, Pacherhof Winery (Bolzano)
Bricolo Falsarella, Gorgo Winery (Verona)
Fiorenzo Valbonesi - ASV3 - architecture workshop, Il Bruciato Winery (Livorno)
Made associati, Pizzolato Winery (Treviso)
Markus Scherer, Nals Margreid (Bolzano)
Matteo Clerici, Fondamenta, HUS, Cantina dei 5 Sogni (Cuneo)
Santi Albanese and Gaetano Gulino, Planeta Winery, Feudo di Mezzo (Catania )
Werner Tscholl, Puni Distillery (Bolzano)
Zitomori, Masseto Winery (Livorno)

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