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Faustino forges ahead with new €15 million winery

Spanish wine company Bodegas Faustino has enlisted architect firm Foster+Partners to build a groundbreaking new winery in Oyón, Rioja Alavesa, which the producer calls “a masterplan” of sustainability.

Due to open its doors to visitors in 2024, Faustino says its new wine property will be “the most innovative and sustainable architectural complex in wine worldwide”.

The bold claim comes as a result of an architectural “masterplan” mapped out by British firm Foster+Partners.

Phase two of construction is already underway, Faustino told db, with the new design geared towards sustainability sparking greater efficiency in the winery.

The new look will also see the vineyard made the hero of the estate, removing buildings which had previously blocked the vineyards from view.

“We had to regain protaganism for the vineyard,” said a representative from Foster+Partners. “Now, the vineyard will be the first step in the visitor experience as they make their way towards a new visitor centre.”

The facades of the winery building will be covered in vegetation, to help maintain the temperature more efficiently in the cellars, which house more than 60,000 barrels of Rioja. “The vegetation will improve performance as the plants prevent the walls from heating up,” said the Foster+Partners spokesman. “It keeps the cellars cool and reduces the need for extra energy use.”

Dark asphalt pavements will be swapped for lighter tones to reflect the sun, also helping to keep facilities cool, while solar panels and the installation of a glass vaulted ceiling, designed to mirror the interior of local churches, will reduce the need for artificial light, bringing energy bills down.

Faustino has further revealed that it plans to add a new vinification cellar, created specifically for the production of “very high-quality white wines to respond to market demand.”

Winery equipment including inclined hoppers, boreal equipment (a unique system that allows the grape paste to be continuously cooled using liquid CO2, which controls the start of the fermentation process), and tools which allow the winery team to work with inert gases in fermentation processes, will be installed to help Faustino’s winemakers advance their premium white wine offering.

As the drinks business has reported, white Rioja is beginning to sit side-by-side with white Burgundy in tastings, restaurants, auctions and wine investment portfolios, largely due to a rising trend for longer barrel ageing in Rioja whites.

According to Lourdes Martínez Zabala, CEO of Familia Martínez Zabala, which owns Bodegas Faustino, the new winery design will “help to energise the Oyón area, our roots, and the Rioja Designation of Origin”.

Carmen Martínez Zabala, president of Familia Martínez Zabala, added: “Familia Martínez Zabala is a pioneer in architectural development in the world of wineries. More than 30 years ago we built Bodegas Campillo, and 12 years ago we opened Bodegas Portia, the first winery built by Foster+Partners. Now it is logical to take a step forward and consolidate the legacy of Bodegas Faustino as a new dimension of wine tourism that houses a much more complete and avant-garde set of experiences that allows us to increase the level of knowledge about the vineyards and wine”.

Familia Martínez Zabala is the largest vineyard owner in Rioja with more than 2,200 hectares of vineyards, located in six Spanish designations of origin, in which it is present with its six wineries.

Faustino currently holds a 35% market share of the Rioja Gran Reserva category.

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