What used to be a visit to a farmer’s simple vineyard followed by the tasting of their wine out in the field – have no fear, this still exists in many places – have become high-end affairs in many locales, with each winery attempting to outdo the other in opulence. Across the world, architects have built awe-inspiring monuments to the fruit of the vine in some of the most high-end wine regions on earth. These are impressive facilities that have the sole purpose of connoting the gravitas of the wine within.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 of the most impressive wineries around, built by names like Gehry and Calatrava, in places such as Napa, Rioja and Bordeaux. These are places that are meant to overwhelm your senses, both by what you see and what you taste.
This winery designed by Santiago Calatrava in the La Rioja region of Spain was conceived of as a place of worship for wine.
One of the most famous wineries in the world, the mansion of this first-growth winery is so well-known it appears on the bottle’s label.
Mission Hill Winery
The focal point of this Canadian winery is the 12-story bell tower whose purpose serves to welcome guest to the vineyard and awaken their senses as the bells ring out.
The building and grounds of this Napa winery are meant to resemble a Persian palace, an homage to the owner’s heritage.
Marques De Riscal
When Spanish winery Marques De Riscal wanted every visitor to experience the innovative spirit and world of sensations the winery embodied, they turned to famed architect Frank Gehry.
Designed by the winery’s founder, Christoph Dornier, this South African winery is meant to blend in with its surroundings.
Castello Di Amorosa
Dario Sattui was determined to erect the most beautiful and interesting building in North America for showcasing great wines, so he built this castle in Napa.
A project of Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi, Opus One was created to be the United State’s first ultra-premium wine.
Designed by famous Parisian architect Paul Abadie, this Bordeaux Chateau is so iconic that like Chateau Margaux, it also graces the wine’s label.
The French-Normandy structure at this Sonoma winery made the winery famous before the wine did. Seriously. It was due to the attention the Ledson family received from the impressive structure that caused them to consider making wine in the first place.
One of the most modern wineries in Spain, the building is supposed to resemble a butterfly.
Images via Shutterstock.com