Wineries in Tuscany

Not only are the wines improving through better techniques (some re-imported from the New World), but now more and more Italian wine makers are employing architects of worldwide renown to create eco-friendly, highly technological, big-impact buildings within their vineyards. Frequently set within the most beautiful countryside, a visit will satisfy the soul as well as the taste buds. All of them will welcome visitors to their pride and joy. The first in time, at least in Tuscany, was the so-called “Beaubourg of Chianti” designed by Piero Sartogo for the Antori winery in Badia a Coltibuono, near Gaiole. A modern fortress dug in to a hill surrounded by vineyards covering a surface area of 5,500 square metres, it’s a building that unites high technology industrial design with beautiful surroundings, using architecture to bring out the extraordinary characteristics of the place.

Recommended Dolce Vita Villas properties nearby are: La Chiantigiana, Villa di Panzano, Montesassi, Villa Semifonte and La Vigna.

Then it was the turn of the Terra Moretti group from Suvereto, near Livorno, who commissioned the famous “cylinders” of the Petra cellars from Swiss/Italian architect Mario Botta. Eight thousand square metres on three levels designed for wine production. The productive cycle uses the natural slope to avoid the need for hydraulic pumps that place grapes and wine under stress and lower the quality of the final product. Inside is a handsome tunnel, one wall carved from the calcareous rock brightly orange-striped with iron oxide.


At Castagneto Carducci, 70 kms. south of Livorno, Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari have put their money on contrast between wood, glass and concrete at Campo al Mare, designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the architect who co-produced the Pyramid at the Louvre with Ieoh Ming Pei.
The Monsordo Bernardina establishment in the Langhe area is a huge bubble suspended amongst the vines(Chianti Villa Rental), an immense grape designed by the Architects Deabate whose intention was to create an environment to embody the motto “tasting wine while tasting the view”.

In 2004 Massilmiliano Fuksas created two bubbles in Bassano del Grappa for the world famous Nardini Distillery for its 225th birthday. The two bubbles allude to the shape of the vessels in which grappa and other distillates are made. One houses the laboratory for analysis and the other is for events and tastings.

Rocca di Frassinello, in the heart of the Maremma area of Tuscany Villa Rental, between Bolgheri and Scansano is a building of 7,500 square metres designed by Renzo Piano. It has unpainted reinforced concrete walls, decking in birchwood and a huge hall for congresses, concerts and events. Underneath is the cellar with more than 2,500 oak barrels, illuminated by a ray of sunshine reflected by a series of mirrors down a tower. This is what the architect said: “I immediately knew that the right place to build the structure was the top of the hill. Take the hill, excavate the cellars, make a platform to cover it like a high plain from which to survey the extraordinary countryside. You just couldn’t imagine a simpler building.” Simple or not, all these places are well worth a visit. Great villas from which to visit would be Villa della Pia, Borgo della Pia, L’Acacia and Il Tombolino.

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