Walls Like These
Are we there yet? The splendour of wine country has too often been subject to a plane ride to another continent. In recent times it’s moved closer but still lies south of the border. Today we see the fruit of our labours being built around us. It’s to these temples of wine that we take you.
Lead Architect : Tom Kundig
Admittedly Anthony von Mandl, owner of Mission Hill, could have easily built a winery in the United States. Thankfully he didn’t. Instead he spent the time seeking one of the most beautiful parcels of land in the Okanagan. And on it he built a stately complex worthy of the courtly European estates. A 12-story bell tower pulls the eye in as the 120,000-square-foot complex unfolds. The project was grand from the beginning. Parts of the estate were blasted — deep into the volcanic rock — in order to make way for an 800-barrel cellar. Just above, a single oculus shines into the deep vaulted ceilings. Here wine isn’t just sitting; it’s laid to rest while the world stands in wait. Apart from the monastic architecture, an impressive piece of art sits in the education room. One of only 29 tapestries, created by Marc Chagall, fills the stark wall. This is where you wonder, “Am I really in BC?” Whatever the answer, I’m sure you’ll say, “Don’t take me home.
Lead Architect : Les Andrew
It must be impressive for an architect to see his ideas come to light. Once construction is done you can just sit and appreciate the work put into every last detail. But when you live across the street, like Les Andrew does, then the view is even better. Sustainable was the first word put into the vocabulary of Stratus. They stayed so tight to the definition that it became the first building in Canada — and international winery — to earn the LEED ™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Canada certification. Assemblage was the second word added to the grocery list of innovations that grew with every architectural drawing. Gravity-flow, pump-free, minimal handling and space for enough tanks to provide flexibility — the simple tenets of winery design. There are no pumps here. Those would harm the grape, releasing off flavours from the skins and seeds. This is the care wine needs. These tender moments between winemakers and their elixir are worthy of such a building. But these are only two of the many wineries found peppered throughout our land. If you’d like to change your perspective on Canadian wineries, click on tidingsmag.com for some more architecture.
More Canadian Architectural Perspectives:
Jackson Triggs Winery, Niagara
Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia
Therapy Vineyards, Penticton, BC
Orpailleur Winery, Quebec
Peninsula Ridge Estates, Niagara