A tight construction timeline and budget called for a non-traditional solution to the construction of Montoro Wines’ cellar door in Orange, NSW.
Montoro Wines is a young boutique winery that is finding significant success with its range of cool climate Shiraz wines. Encouraged by this success, the decision was taken to build a cellar door on Montoro’s Cargo Road property, which is uniquely positioned as the first winery outside of Orange towards Cargo, and the start of the well-established wine tasting route.
Owners Bob and Jennifer Derrick turned to Source Architects to create a cellar door that needed to be more than an outlet for their wines – something that spoke of and reinforced their brand. Importantly, it needed to move away from the archetypal ‘winery in an old shed’, which is a dominant typology in the area, to express the brand’s contemporary premium status.
“Conceptually, the building was conceived as a broad platform protected by an oversized roof, sitting in a field of native grasses and wildflowers,” explains Sally Sutherland, director, Source Architects. “The service areas are planned into a sculptural blackened timber clad form with the tasting area occupying the remainder of the platform – the inside and outside a continuous space that bleed together.”
“The timber form turns its back to the road and the strong winds, with the form curving to draw the visitor onto the platform, introducing the tasting area and the view as the visitor follows the curved form. Once inside the building proper, the timber clad form recedes, further opening up the view and tasting space, leading the visitor to the brass topped tasting bench.”
Given budget and timeline restraints, the decision was made to construct as many elements offsite as possible and to have all services integrated into the prefab elements. All framing was shop built out of RHS steel and lifted onto site in two pieces, with the portals and roof following swiftly after. The approach proved highly successful in terms of time and cost and is a model that Source Architects will pursue again in the future.
Another key challenge was that the project called for a small tasting space only, in the vein of a private dining space with personal attention a priority. This had to be balanced against a desire for the cellar door to have a presence from the road and a clear identity. The distinctive oversized roofing material selected provides this presence and the orientation to the two directions of traffic provides two distinct and memorable views of the form.
The result is “a layout that seeks to encourage patrons to linger, to take up residence for the afternoon on the terrace or to sit on the edge of the platform and talk while kids play in the field beyond, and to generally be a part of the beautiful landscape that the building is sharing”.
Photography by Tom Ferguson