Cantina Ghidossi

Cantina Ghidossi in Cadenazzo, Switzerland by Aurelio Galfetti

"Architects are being challenged to rethink the winery as a bold contemporary expression of tradition and innovation, agriculture and technology, production and hospitality: powerful architecture with a serious purpose. " So goes the description for Adventurous Wine Architecture by Michael Webb, a book exploring wineries by such familiar names as Santiago Calatrava, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl and Herzog & de Meuron, whose Dominus Winery almost single-handedly created the recent trend of winery architecture.

This popular mix of high design and wine can be partially attributed to the Bilbao effect, but instead of buildings being used to draw tourists to a city, they're used to draw people to typically rural wineries. This attribute also indicates the influence of eco-tourism, where people can feel like they are visiting a place that is treating the land sensitively with acres of vineyards rather than the equivalent of developed sprawl. Wine's appeal is not just in its taste or smell or effects, but also in its earthen roots from whence the grape springs.

Many of the wineries featured in Webb's book seek to exploit this connection to the earth, including Herzog & de Meuron's Napa winery linked above. While that building uses stone gabions to relate to the earth, the Cantina Ghidossi in Cadenazzo, Switzerland by Aurelio Galfetti uses vegetation to make its connection.

Even though the cellar, wine storage, and tasting room are contained in a building of concrete, glass, aluminum, wood, and stone, an exterior trellis wrapping up and over the volume helps to soften the building's otherwise alien presence in the naturally man-made landscape. This trellis helps to make the building an integral element not only in the working process of the winery but as a reinterpretation and extension of its surroundings.