South Africa: Evolution of Winery Architecture & Vineyard Design

on 05/11/10 at 9:14 am


The task of reviewing wine estate architecture probably falls into the same bracket as chocolate taster or motoring correspondent. The job, however, is not without its dangers.

The urge to taste the product of the vine is very real but once indulged all memory of the task at hand evaporates. So a certain discipline is required, with a focus on the buildings and less on the product.

After 1990 South Africa began to assert itself in the production of wine in the New World. Allied with tourism, it followed that vineyard design began to evolve in a very different way to the traditional idea of a wine farm.

Economic forces too have had a profound effect on the composition of this typology. The tradition of the owner-family combining production with a residence is fading fast on account of the massive investment required to build a new winery, generally putting them out of the range of a single person.

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