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To the religious and the secular alike, wine holds a special place in the hearts of men.  It is no surprise, then, that the wineries of the world have become like churches themselves– while adherents to the worship of wine travel the world over, visiting the great wineries in Napa, in France, in Argentina.  Continuing this metaphor, the modern wineries of today have been given the same architectural importance as the chapels of times past.  To celebrate the most progressive, most beautiful modern wineries in the world today, here is DesignCrave’s list of the Ten Architectural Wonders of the Wine World.

Dominus Winery, California (shown above)

When Dominus Winery decided to build their new winery in Napa Valley, California, they turned to Herzog & De Meuron architects to design a functional, environmentally conscious warehouse, winery and office building.  The result is a stunning angular obelisk of natural stones contained within a tough wire mesh.  From afar, the building appears to be fully concrete, but as you approach its stone character is revealed.  The result is a functional system that allows the California breezes to aerate the winery and its product.  [photos courtesy: ianxharris and brandonshigeta]

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Peregrine Winery, New Zealand

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Designer Chris Kelly’s simple industrial canopy lets the light in while offering spectacular views of the countryside. Kelly has described it as “a transformation reflecting the process the grapes go through.” Judges from UK magazine The Architectural Review like it too, placing it in the top five of its annual emerging architecture awards. [Peregrine Wines]

The Merus Winery

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A wide open tasting room with couches and a communal table make this Napa Valley, Calif., winery a great place share drinks with friends. The smooth black countertops and slightly arched ceilings give way to the somewhat un-modern arched ceilings, but we’re okay with that. [Merus Winery]

López De Heredia Winery

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Though much of this winery’s architecture dates back to the 19th century, designer Zaha Hadid built a thoroughly modern stand at the front of the complex to greet visitors. The structure, built of a lattice framework of metallic rails, blends with the surrounding walkways and accesses. It’s a modular building, but we like it right where it is. [Lopez de Heredia, Photo]

O. Fournier Winery

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First, get the pronunciation right: O-Four-Knee-Err, because it’s Spanish, not French, being located in Argentina. Now, admire how the green fields give way to the building, which winds up to a perfect frame of the Andes Mountains. To minimize the use of pumps, this winery uses gravity, and somehow this architecture manages to suggest that. [O. Fournier]

Petra Winery

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Designer Mario Botta has said this structure “wants to be a new version of the old houses in the countryside in Tuscany,” in which the surrounding farmland plays a role in the overall design. Made of stone, the building features plant life on top and two arcades that extend, flowerlike, out to the grounds. [Petra, Image]

I. Boutaris & Son Winery

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Fitting with the quaint white structures that dot Santorini’s cliffsides, this winery in Megalohori includes an administration area, an exhibition and sales building and “Tholos,” the domed structure pictured above. Tastings and audio-visual presentations happen inside, but the real treat is outside, with the contrast of the buildings against the greens and blues of the island. [Designer Yannos Yanniotis, Photo]

Artesa Vineyards & Winery

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This Napa Valley winery has the unusual appearance of being built right into the countryside. Hints of the manmade come from the entrance way and the prism-shaped window, which offers great views from the inside. The building, also peppered with artwork, follows a path to a courtyard with a beautiful fountain. [Artesa, Photo]

Winery Collemassari

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This Italian winery resembles a luxurious modern home, but maintains the spirit of a factory, with each compartment performing its individual task in making wine. The browns of the building blend with the green grounds, as do the horizontal and vertical lines leading to the vineyards. [Photo]

Leo Hillinger Winery

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Inside and out, the Leo Hillinger in Austria oozes style. The building keeps a low profile with to the grounds, cut deeply into the slope and replaced with soil used to plant grapes. The eight pyramidal structures you see in the left-hand photo let light into the underground production halls, and at night the well-lit grand window can be seen from miles away. [Leo Hillinger]

Thanks for reading, DesignCravers, Diggers, Stumblers and otherwise.  Which of these is your favorite example of winery architecture?  Have you visited Napa, the wineries of France or otherwise and have seen any that we should include here?  Let us know in the comments.  Thanks again for reading!