Getty Images, Image Courtesy of Pacherhof
From rocky and roughhewn to sleek and chic, wine caves and cellars encourage designers to merge form and function in imaginative ways. There’s undeniable drama in a dark, underground space, and talented architects seize the opportunity to transform these utilitarian storage facilities into atmospheric venues for tours, tastings and even art exhibitions.
Here are eight striking examples of wine caves and cellars with outstanding design, found in locations all around the world.
Exterior of Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion cellar, honoring the region’s maritime history / © phlabeguerie
Bordeaux, France | Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion
Design by Philippe Starck and Luc Arsène-Henry
Clad in sleek panels of stainless steel, the Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion wine cellar plunges like an elegant and enormous knife into the Peugue river. An artful collaboration between renowned designer Philippe Starck and architect Luc Arsene-Henry, the blade-like shape also cleverly references a ship’s hull, in honor of the maritime history of Bordeaux.
The structure is divided into four levels, including reception and winemaking spaces. The vat room features 23 stainless steel, oak and concrete vats, and the winery invited guest artists—including Ara Starck—to cover them in original paintings.
Stainless steel and wood vats at Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion / © phlabeguerie
Barrel room at Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion / © phlabeguerie
The lowest level stores 300 barrels, which benefit from the cooling effect of the water that flows outside the cellar walls. The surrounding vineyards are planted to grape varieties including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Guided tours and tastings are available by request.
Into the caves at Champagne Pommery / Image Courtesy of Champagne Pommery
Reims, France | Domaine Pommery
Design by Louise Pommery
Louise Pommery was a visionary in both Champagne and design. Based on her belief that extended periods of cellar-aging produced better Champagne, Madame Pommery set her sights on a piece of land that was being used as a dump and saw its potential.