French architect Marc Barani designs a new winery for the estate Les Davids in Southern France
Marc Barani, a renowned French architect, has designed a new winery for the Les Davids estate. Located on the edge of the Luberon, in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the estate has been owned by the Belgian real-estate specialist Sophie Le Clercq since 2000.
Marc Barani designed a winery that combines a gravitational process of winemaking with a form of architecture that is integrated into the landscape in such a way that it seems to be a natural element. As well as the rooms for receiving the harvested grapes, and for blending, maturing, and bottling the wine, the winery also includes a shop and tasting room, which just opened to the public.
Surrounded by orchards and gardens, the Les Davids estate has twenty hectares of vineyards and currently produces eleven organic wines of excellent quality. The expertise of the architect Marc Barani has aligned with the vision of client Sophie Le Clercq to create a winery that respects the entire gravitational process of winemaking (with the reception of the grapes and the filling of vats on the first floor; winemaking, assembly, and sales on the ground floor; and bottling and storage in the cellar) and a form of architecture that is integrated into the landscape in such a way that it seems to be a natural element. The new winery is the culmination of more than 20 years of passion and hard work on a rare and protected terroir.
The winery is built at the top of a shell-shaped valley on the border of the Ventoux and the Monts de Vaucluse, in which the Les Davids estate is located. The whole structure is built of solid concrete. Barani selected an ochre colour that reflects the rocky earth that slides down to the valley. Although the building is very large (2130 m2), it is surprisingly elegant, seeming to emerge from the earth like a mastaba from ancient times. Also striking is the glass notch that reveals the monumental arrangement of concrete tulip barrels, placing the exterior vines in visual communication with the wine barrels on the inside.
The terrace, which is covered by a large, cantilevered roof, overlooks the estate and offers an immense view of the surrounding mountains. It forms the link between the vines and the winemaking process. From here, visitors walk through the corridor where there is a huge ceramic fresco by the Belgian artist Yves Zurstrassen. The corridor leads to the tasting and sales counter, where tastings are organized based on wine-food pairings customized by a Michelin-starred chef and the domain’s.
There are also availabilities to rent holiday homes by the owners of Les Davids. The exclusive Hameaux des Davids country estate (a total of six self-catered holiday homes spread over three hamlets, including 5 heated swimming pools, two spa’s, two tennis courts and beautiful landscaped gardens) is quietly tucked away between vast oak forests, lavender fields, olive trees and vineyards.
All images: © Frederik Vercruysse