Bodegas Protos: wine (with your mother in a castle)
How? That one of the most traditional wineries in Ribera de Duero is signed by the famous Pritzker Prize, Richard Rorgers? Why this apparent contradiction? These and other questions are resolved in a visit that starts in the bowels of the castle and history to end up challenging the landscape and making the traveler imagine.
“Another one that has signed up for the car of the author wineries"Some will think. Others will directly ask what a contemporary building in the middle of Peñafiel paints by staining the views of and from the castle. But the answer is quite simple: the new building of Richard Rogers It makes sense of something that had been brewing for a long time. Wine tourism appeared years ago as a strange alternative to the simple business of buying and selling. Y Protos Wineries It had a potential that until 4 years ago I didn't know how to make it explode: because they had the castle as an icon.
This former Peñafielense cooperative has a solera and has every right in the world to use the icon of this town as a claim. And maybe for that the tour does not start under the modern deck, but where it all began. There, in the bowels, under the foundations of the fortress, in the galleries pierced at his feet which were used for half a century as galleries to cure wine. As if it were an adventures of those narrated by J.R.R. Tolkien, good things start venturing underground.
A castle to conquer (and macerate them) everyone © Bodegas Protos
At the beginning there is no lack of the corporate video or the small moment of extolling the brand and demonstrating its expansion. But nobody blame them or criticize them for it, after all you have to know that you get here to know a brand. Then comes the small walk through the vaulted underground galleries surrounded by millimeter-stacked barrels. Little operational for a winery that brings to the market more than 5 million bottles annually, but it is beautiful and descriptive. He comes to say that of “Hey! That this was done like this before, kids. ”
Without eating it or drinking it or tasting it, you continue underground (and under the road) until you reach the new facilities where the route continues. A visit that, after all, It focuses on the traditional of this brand and in its wide route that goes from the oldest to the most modern. And for all this they needed to resort to a well-known architect? You are right. First for its notoriety and then for the logistics and production needs. The winery had to be expanded, but it was also necessary to reach an audience that was being lost. A more sybarite audience. An audience that sublimates every glass of wine.
More than 5 million bottles per year leave these wineries © Corbis
Rogers' expansion doesn't fool anyone. We are facing one of the projects with the lowest budget of this British study in the last decade. With 36 million euros, Rogers could only pull concrete and glass to maximize the barrel and fermentation rooms, always respecting oenological criteria such as being underground (to better maintain the temperature) or ordering everything from top to bottom so that the grapes fall by gravity to the tanks using that nice transport known as OVI.
But as soon as it emerges from this underworld of stacked bottles and lined barrels, Rogers' sky is touched, the icon of a new era. In just 4 springs, The winery has been visited by about 100,000 visitors, so the play has been even profitable. And once you reach the main hall where the store is located and the balcony with the best interior views, everything is understood. Looking at this horizon of curves and windows it is inevitable to think about the other great work of this 'Sir' in Spain. And there are architectural and chromatic similarities with the T4. As in the Madrid airport, here it is combined with extreme delicacy the mechanical coldness of technology with the warmth of wood and ceramics that cover the roof.
The point of greatest architectural ecstasy is the main entrance, where the tasting counters and the store are located. It may be because it is the welcome place, for showing better than any other the technical expertise of its modern vaults or for being the one dedicated exclusively to the visitor, but It is the best end point to leave with a good taste in the interior of the facilities. Yes, nAdie can leave here without making the castle the protagonist again. It is inevitable to try to immortalize it by colliding with the new architectural languages. Find it behind the crystals inside to play with the reflections. Frame him in the curve of the roof or look for him among the ceramic angles of his roof.
The T4 of wine © Corbis
In the end you can not avoid climbing to the top, visit it, crown the tribute tower and from there put yourself in the skin of the architect. Because it all started there, with a Richard Rogers trying to imagine how to make that industrial floor a new icon, how to compete with the media print of the bastion of Peñafiel. They say it took a couple of hours to download and draw their first idea, which is not too far from the final result. The visitor, from the height, does not have the task of rethinking this landscape. Too much has to try to elucidate what the nose looks like from the heights. Is it a vine? Are they barrels placed one behind the other? The answer is free. One of the advantages that Castilla has is his brutal honesty and his lack of flowered speech. Why decide for each visitor? Better that it is the architecture that freely evokes each one. There is the magic, in that it will always be an inspiring space. Alive, constantly changing and subject to thousands of interpretations. Like wine.
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From vine to vine, guarded by the castle © Corbis