Fig: 1 – Depictions of Armenian ambassadors bringing the Persian emperor wine (Credits-Phillip Maiwald)
Systematic drinking of wine almost feels like a religious experience. Though knowing the origins of such an ancient drink is guaranteed to enhance that experience tenfold. From the very first winery found in Armenia to the worldwide evidence of wine being used in spiritual and social aspects, it certainly is much more than just a fermented grape. It is geography and culture in a glass.
It represents tradition, craft, connection and celebration. Wine has been around for centuries. It has created a strong relationship with culture and environment, and regardless of its history, it is still relevant in the contemporary world.
In the last decade, this relevance has turned into Tourism. Wine tourism is also known as Enotourism includes the purchase of wine, tasting or consumption, often near or at the source.
It is globally regarded as a traditional, yet dynamic form of alternative tourism. It forms an essential part of the cultural, social and economic development of the region.
Fig: 2 – Wine tasting (Credits-Kelsey Knight)
Wine tasting is the sensory evaluation of wine. The practice of wine tasting is as ancient as its production. Rulers from the 14th century established formal spaces for this purpose. Since then the tasting room has remained a sacred part of the winery. While professionals have set rules and the basis of wine tasting, enthusiasts taste it for pleasure or purchase.
Though In today’s fast-paced tourism, people have no time to dedicate an entire day or weekend to wine tasting.
Places are offering collective tasting rooms in one place instead of tasting rooms in between wineries. It does increase public participation and commercial value of the place, but the entire experience of sensing the wine in a special room is lost in between.
Can architecture retain this lost tasting experience?
Fig: 3 – Vintage Wine tasting room ( Credits- Todd Diemer)
Architecture has the power to affect the way people perceive not only spaces but also how they experience beverages and food in those spaces.
Wine tasting is a serious part of the wine industry, has educated people and made them wine experts, and at the same time, it has attracted amateurs for its ambience and a sense of gathering. In any way, a wine tasting room marks the celebration of wine. It acts as the space of the past as well as the present.
How can design integrate the traditional as well as contemporary nature of wine in a tasting room?
Brief: The challenge is to design a wine tasting room. The goal is to set the atmosphere for the experience to follow. The design should reflect the spirit of wine and engage the senses. The aim is to translate the cultural and historic importance of wine into the interiors. It seeks to re-explore the tasting room while maintaining its traditionality.
Fig: 4 – Tarija Winery Bolivia (Credits- Getty Images )
Bolivia is mostly known for snow-capped mountains rather than vineyards, but the South American nation is starting to turn heads for award-winning wine. Bolivia's wine industry is based in the southern city of Tarija, near the southern border with Argentina.
This region has long produced artisanal wine, as well as the distilled grape-based spirit known as singani, the national drink. Though Bolivia was never in the top-wine industries, like its neighbours Argentina and Chile with an accurate atmosphere for growing grapes. Part of the reason was that Bolivia sits closer to the equator and is dominated by the Amazon jungle and the Andes Mountains.
A breakthrough came when wineries took advantage of the altitude and began planting Tanat.
This variety has the resistance to bear intense sunlight of higher altitudes. The grape produces bold and intense wines that won Bolivia a gold medal in a contest.
Interiors: Furniture, colour palette, flooring, finishes and lighting.
Site context: Take into account the regional wine culture and tradition.
Display and Integrate: Translate the spirit of wine drinking into the ambience and services.
The following objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. Participants are free to form their program outline.
Location: Tarija, Bolivia
Area: 524 sq.m
Height Limitations: 6 metres
Coordinates: 21°35'03.9"S 64°39'32.3"W
The history of vineyards in Bolivia dates back to the 16th century. Bolivian wine has a semi-sweet, simple and inexpensive blend with a faithful local customer base. The reputation of the wine has emerged successful in all of South America, making its way among wine-producing giants of Argentina and Chile.
The site is located on the premise of Campos De Solana, an upcoming and famous winery in the region. The tasting room should be designed for traditional wine tasting as well as for passerby enthusiasts.
The following programmatic outline is the point to begin your design at. You can add more functions and activities in relevance or modify the below design programme.
Wine tasting 60%
Tasting counter, Open storage for wine bottles, Storage for sides (cheese etc), Seating.
Kitchen, Pantry, Reception, Washroom/Toilets, Closed Storage
Other activities 20%
What other activities will your tasting room house do?