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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
29 Jul 2002

Many of you are experienced travellers round the wine world. Can you help ensure that a projected exhibition and book contain the world's most thrilling-looking wineries?

COPIA (the newly established American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, California) is planning an exhibition on architecturally adventurous wineries around the world. The guest curator, Michael Webb, is compiling a list of possibilities, and is keen to receive information on buildings of exceptional quality and originality that have been completed or extensively remodelled over the past decade. He can be reached at mdpwrite@gte.net.

He says: 'I'm searching for buildings that are fresh, original, and provide an exciting experience for those who use and visit them - not trendy facades on traditional layouts. The exhibition will explore the efforts of winemakers who are seeking an appropriate expression of the enduring craft and changing technology of wine-making.'

Just for the record, here's what came to my mind immediately.

 

  • Almaviva near Santiago in Chile (joint venture between the Rothschilds of Mouton and Concha y Toro - the most beautiful modern winery I've ever seen, all curved wood).
  • Angelo Gaja's new winery in the Maremma (I haven't seen this but have heard it is spectacular, though he's still waiting for a bit of vegetation to grow apparently).
  • Ch Pichon Longueville in Pauillac, Bordeaux, paid for by AXA insurance which owns it.
  • Ch Lafite-Rothschild's new cuverie in Pauillac.
  • Marques de Riscal's new building by Frank Gehry in Elciego, Rioja, Spain.
  • Zonin have made a great fuss about their new winery in Sicily (which I haven't seen).
  • In Argentina, Bodegas Salentein in Tupungato is pretty nifty though not necessarily very beautiful.
  • New Zealand is very fertile hunting ground. Perhaps my fellow wine writer Master of Wine Bob Campbell (www.bobcampbell.co.nz) may have some suggestions?
  • In Austria Fred Loimer in Kamptal has constructed a sort of black box over a traditional underground winery, an echo of the new modern art museum in Vienna (but that's probably ruled out by one of the criteria outlined above).
  • Two strong candidates in Australia: Shadowfax just west of Melbourne and Shaw & Smith in the Adelaide Hills (glass walls, one of which nearly robbed me of my nose and front teeth).
  • There's also Anglo American's hilltop Vergelegen in Somerset West, South Africa although it's not as beautiful IMHO as some of those Cape Dutch farmstead wineries.

I've doubtless missed some obvious ones out and made some silly suggestions.

Please send your suggestions, with as much background information at possible, to Michael Webb at mdpwrite@gte.net. I'll ask him to report back once he has collated your input.