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Berkshire Winery

Berkshire, UK

This new Berkshire winery will serve a new 18.7 ha vineyard planted with 77,500 vines which will yield approximately 110 tonnes of grapes each harvest. From this a production of circa 100,000 bottles of wine (predominantly sparkling) per year should be achieved.

The sensitive design provides a functional, efficient, and cost-effective facility within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB). Cues from contemporary agricultural barns and sheds inspired this simple pitched form organised over two floors cut into the chalk hillside. This working with the existing topography helps reduce the building footprint and visual mass whilst below ground storage benefits from a stable environment for maturing wine.

Production space and grape receival occupy the main spaces of the building. A deep roof overhang provides cover during the harvest season as the grapes are brought in at grade from the adjacent Vineyard. Inside the juice is extracted by a mobile press from where it is transferred via pipes to the stainless steel fermentation tanks. Any grapes which cannot be pressed that day are stored overnight in an adjacent cold store ready for pressing in the morning. An office for the vineyard manager / winemaker / staff, laboratory, and equipment store complete the production facilities at this level.

A full height wine blending and tasting space occupies the southern portion of the level to provide a showcase for the vineyard with a large tasting table and open kitchen. A covered open terrace space on the eastern facade is accessed via large sliding glass screens, providing views across the vineyard.

Lower Level
Entrances for visitors, staff and deliveries are on the lower floor with grade level access from the parking and deliveries area. A barrel room adjacent to the entrance lobby provides for fermentation in oak barrels, and a large plant / store area provides space for: the receival of empty bottles during times of bottling; equipment storage; and space for additional fermentation tanks for use in years of higher yields or base wine storage. Hose connections to the fermentation tanks in the production space adjacent to the delivery entrance allow connection to a mobile bottling plant. A modest 2 bedroom apartment for a vineyard employee fulfils a business critical function as well as providing site security and safety.

We took the simple form of a common agricultural barn as inspiration, added a balcony, a cutaway for the terrace, an oversailing roof, some careful detailing, and then cut the building into the sloped site to integrate this winery into its highly sensitive setting.. Designcubed

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