June 25, 2013

Aged to Perfection: Marchesi Antinori’s Sustainable Winery

If you make your living from the earth, you learn to treat it with respect. So when the 625-year-old Italian vintner Marchesi Antinori retained Archea Associati to build the Chianti Classico Cellar outside Florence, in Bargino, eco-consciousness was elemental. 

Part visitor center—encompassing a restaurant, wine shop, and museum—and part working winery, the multilevel, 129,00-square-foot structure is mostly concealed belowground, allowing subterranean coolness to be harnessed for temperature control. Grapes harvested from the adjacent vineyard are crushed at ground level, then piped down to fermentation vats entirely by gravity, eliminating the need for electrical mechanisms. Water is depurated and recycled. Local natural materials such as Tuscan terra-cotta are used liberally. There’s even cultural sustainability. Leonardo da Vinci’s wine press is preserved in the museum.

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