Fengshui(literally means wind-water in Chinese) embodies collective Chinese wisdom from ancient times on how to achieve an aesthetic balance of natural elements for well-being. Whilstfengshui’s intricate guidelines have mainly been observed in Chinese homes and workplaces, the scene has changed. There are a handful of wineries around the world that have embracedfengshui, incorporating it into the wineries’ architectural design.
Caiarossa, Tuscany, Italy
Caiarossa is situated in the heart of Val di Cecina along the Tuscan coast of Italy with an eye-catching red cellar standing halfway between the hilltop and the valley. Michael Bolle, architect for Caiarossa, borrowed geo-biological concepts andfengshuiphilosophy in constructing the winery. The exterior of the cellar was painted red to gather energy to dispel negative powers while the entire interior is painted yellow, an ode to the element of earth. Windows are specially designed to let in abundant sunlight, reflecting thefengshuiprinciple of compensating negativism in enclosed spaces with natural light. When questioned about why they followfengshuiprinciples, proprietors Dominique and Solene Genot explained thatfengshuibonds well with their love for nature and aligns with Caiarossa’s principle: to produce wines that symbolize “the luxury of Mother Nature”.
Vina Montes, Colchagua Valley, Chile
Vina Montes hired Chileanfengshuiexpert Silvia Galleguillos to design and build the winery according tofengshui’s 5 essential elements: water, air, metal, wood and earth to obtain a harmonious balance in the estate. The winery’s faith infengshuiruns deep. In 2005, right before construction began, Galleguillos and the team gathered at the site to perform several spiritual gestures to pray for success. Wines were poured into ceremonial decanters and bells were rung “to enhance the soil’s fertility by making the element of earth happy.”
The finished architecture features pools of water that flow from the entrance to the heart of the winery, where a fountain stands beneath a circular skylight. Infengshuiterms, this setting amasses wealth and prosperity. At the barrel room, Gregorian music is played around the clock to set a peaceful and serene ambience for the wines as well as for the employees. Winemaker Victor Baeza explains that this setting “takes away stress no matter how intense the work is” and ultimately he believes happier workers produce better wines.
Howard Park Leston Winery, Margaret River, Western Australia
Nominated as the Best Architectural Building in Australia in 2005, Howard Park Leston winery is a true art piece that marriesfengshuiand contemporary Australian design.Loupan, an ancient Chinese device, is used extensively to deduce the right positioning of natural elements throughout the winery. The structure is aligned 2.5 degrees off magnetic north and is positioned on the highest point of the estate. North-facing large glass windows allow maximum light to penetrate every corner of the building. The door has been carefully carved according to a set of specific measurements that bring good luck in. When asked about how they perceivefengshui, Howard Park proprietors explain that this ancient Chinese system aligns with the modern concept of environmental awareness. It helps create an aesthetic balance that proves conductive toChi, internal energy flow, which boosts workers’ spirits and promotes harmony.