The cult of wine
It is a chronicle of history and geography, of agriculture and the rhythm of the seasons; a tale of soil and the hills, of wind, sun and evening thunderstorms, of manual labour, pruning and the harvest, and ultimately of the process of transformation, ageing, care, barrels, bottles and travel.
Every wine has a story to tell. It is an aesthetic, a ritual, an open book, complete with name, author, title, label, gradation, colour and recommended food pairings.
It is a journey that ends when the wine is poured carefully into the glass, dancing and releasing its bouquet, when we raise it to our lips with the same joy, delicacy and madness as a kiss.
These and other stories are well known to the stylish young architect Sílvia Carvalho, who in Belo Horizonte, Brazil has designed “Casa de vinho”, a small temple devoted to the passion and knowledge of wine.
As she herself says, “The space was designed for wine lovers”. It is a small, warm, welcoming wine room which small groups of friends can book for social gatherings and for tasting international wines expertly chosen by the house.
This hospitable 35-square-metre living space is furnished with comfortable sofas and chairs where guests can relax and enjoy the company of friends
or consult the small library devoted to the world of wine.
A kind of indoor portico extends along the wall and projects in its lower section to form a bench, while enclosing the food and wine tasting table which can comfortably seat eight people. Next to it stands an open kitchen for preparing food, complete with a sink for washing glasses and an ice bucket for keeping wine cool.
Sílvia Carvalho’s love of wine is evident from the rack that she personally designed to hold 450 bottles in the controlled-temperature cellar, a small transparent room that also accommodates a wooden table with decanters to allow the wine to breathe and for initial tasting.
The bottles are supported by a framework structure, the culmination of a series of prototypes aimed at achieving minimal thickness and the smallest possible visual impact. The lights that delineate the wine cellar coupled with the thin rod framework structure create a magical, ethereal effect in which the bottles appear to float as if suspended in a dream.
The materials used on the walls help recreate the sensation of an underground wine cellar, while the atmospheric and accent lighting together with other materials such as solid wood, leather, Corten steel and the large grey porcelain floor tiles produced by Ceramiche Gardenia Orchidea create a warm and hospitable ambience.
As Sílvia Carvalho says: “It is the ideal place for listening to splendid stories in good company, sustained in body and spirit by a choice of fine wines!”