Wine architecture in Tuscany


Since the early Nineties, the largest and most interesting projects and constructions of new wine cellars have all been concentrated in Tuscany. At great effort and expense, archaic wineries have been transformed into modern marvels of beauty and dynamism. The new structures are the expression of advanced technology applied to tradition, intense love and care for the landscape, new concepts of space deriving from an activity that has grown from a farm to a business where, in addition to producing wines, they are shown and tasted at the site, with a view to conveying the complete sensory experience of flavors, fragrances and views that embody the world of wine. All the projects knowingly focus on architectural quality to give added value to this most ancient of human activities.
The tour is divided between two production zones, one along the coast and the other inland, between SIENA and GROSSETOoffering, through visits to the innovative new structures of contemporary architecture, a key to understanding an area of unique landscapes, unchanged through the centuries, and revealing a “Tuscan wine cellar system” that is the product of nothing less than a revolution in the concept of production and that has led to the birth of a particular wine cellar architecture.

We will visit the following cellars:

Cantina Petra (Mario Botta)
On the hill that overlooks the vast vineyards of SUVERETO inland from PIOMBINO, “Petra” appears to the visitor with the image of a stone cylinder divided into sections and leaning parallel to the hill, with two arcaded buildings on either side.

Cantina Rocca di Frassinello (Renzo Piano)
Bare concrete walls, formworks in birch, a great open area for conferences, concerts and events. Underneath the terraced steps of the great amphitheater, at the center of the cellar, is the barrel cellar with over 2,500 oak barrels, illuminated by a ray of sunshine «trapped» of a tower overlooking the yard and reflected in a series of mirrors.

Cantina Pieve Vecchia (Cini Boeri)
Cantina Pieve Vecchia is designed as a multi-functioning environment. The young architect Enrico Sartori planned the underground part of the cellar, with a structure in which all the demands of production are met, and in which the construction itself is an essential tool of vinification. The famous architect and designer Cini Boeri then designed the ground-level areas, creating an open, refined environment integrated into the larger territorial context, a structure which exists in harmony with the surrounding landscape. With its large windows and vaulted roof shape, the Cantina unites the open sky and the rolling hills of the Maremma, removing the boundaries between the inner and outer environments.

Cantina dei Marchesi Antinori (Archea)
The purpose of this project is to merge the building and the rural landscape; the industrial complex appears to be a part of the latter thanks to the roof, which has been turned into a plot of farmland cultivated with vines, interrupted, along the contour lines, by two horizontal fissures that let light into the interior and provide those inside the building with a view of the landscape through the imaginary construction of a diorama. The façade, to use an expression typical of buildings, thus extends horizontally along the natural slope, paced by the rows of vines which, along with the earth, form its “roof cover”.

Castello di Fonterutoli dei Marchesi Mazzei (Agnese Mazzei)
The new Fonterutoli Cellar, working since 2006, has already been defined as “the most impressive in the entire Chianti region” (Steven Spurrier, “Decanter”). The project, calculated to have little environmental impact, includes three floors, mostly underground, and was designed “in the family”, by architect Agnese Mazzei, who has already designed other important cellars, among which the new barrel cellar for Sassicaia.

Cantina Icario (Studio Valle Progettazione)
Immersed in the Tuscan hills of ORCIA VALLEY, the winery is organized in four austere, geometrical units built with solid stone walls and light wells that let in abundant natural light from above. The four stone volumes, representing the four elements, are striking and yet manage to emerge unobtrusively from the gentle slope of the hillside.