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Building for Bacchus

Michael Webb's new book, 'Adventurous Wine Architecture,' delights the eye and tempts the palate

October 02, 2005|Michael Webb | Excerpted from "Adventurous Wine Architecture" by Michael Webb, published this month by Images Publishing.

The popular image of the winery remains the picturesque European chateau, but a growing number of winemakers around the world are seeking a fresh approach. Architects are being challenged to rethink the winery as a bold contemporary expression of tradition and innovation, agriculture and technology, production and hospitality. Many of the buildings featured here bring all these elements together in an organic whole, much as winemakers blend grapes from different lots to achieve an ideal balance in the finished product.

During the past decade, there has been an explosion of creativity. Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Steven Holl, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Santiago Calatrava, Rafael Moneo, Glenn Murcutt, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster are among the acclaimed architects who have been commissioned to build new wineries or visitors' centers in California, Canada and Australia, as well as in the traditional wine-growing centers of Italy, Austria and Spain. Some of these buildings are designed to establish brand identity and excite public attention in a fiercely competitive market; others blend into the landscape or draw from the local vernacular.

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