Observations: Architecture finally hits the bottle
Friday 19 September 2008
In Greek, protos means new. But in Penafiel, north-western Spain, it means three million bottles of wine a year – four million when the new Bodegas Protos production plant, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour, starts production this month.
Big league architects are changing the face of wine-making, especially in Penafiel, where the tempranillo grape has produced vintages for decades. It is no longer enough to make wines, it's about turning wineries into destinations.
Seen from the slopes just below the 14th-century castle, the new architecture looks like five barrel-vaulted farm sheds pushed together in a roughly triangular plan. The ensemble, textured and coloured by the rise and fall of their terracotta roof tiles, hints at brandysnaps.
The challenge for 21st-century architecture was to deliver a million more bottles a year without erasing the winery's historic gravitas Protos has produced wine at Penafiel since 1926, and much of its tempranillo is grown and harvested in the same archaic manner as Cistercian monks.
In committing £15m to the project, it's amusing to discover that Protos considered Lord Rogers a bit of a risk. Managing director, Teotimo San Jose, bemoaned Rogers' "lack of experience in winery design" and only chose Rogers because Rafael Moneo and Santiago Calatrava were busy with other wineries. The new winery is in part a response to Lord Foster designing a mega-winery nearby, and recognition that smaller local wineries are upping the ante with distinctive new buildings, which not only increase efficiency, but are valuable marketing bolt-ons.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Glastonbury 2015: Coldplay will not headline but Florence Welch might play, says Emily Eavis
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Mal Peet dead at 67: Tributes to children's author who was 'universally adored'
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin