by Michael Lundeen
The histories of fine wine and of fine winery architecture have intertwined over the centuries. The design of the winery building can be central to the quality of the wine produced as well as to the winemaker's marketing image. In addition, as a new Canadian winery demonstrates, a good design can reduce energy consumption and waste during production.
The Stratus Winery, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, is a showcase of collaboration between architects and winemakers. The structure supports the production process, the mechanical systems help ensure the quality of the wine, and the "green" building was the first winery to achieve a LEED certification.
Many wineries of the past consisted of large barns or other vernacular agricultural buildings. As the popularity of fine wines grew, the buildings took on another role as visitor destination. Dramatic new visions of what a winery could be began to appear, such as Clos Pegase (1987) in the Napa Valley by Michael Graves. Inspired by Greek mythology, and in a departure from conventional winery architecture, the facility placed the experience of the visitor foremost.
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Stratus Winery by Les Andrew Architect.
Photo: Stephen Elphick
A pre-engineered exterior, with innovations inside.
Photo: Les Andrew
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