A wide opening in the boundary wall connects this cathedral-like factory to the main square of the tiny town of Gumiel de Izan. Reminiscent of a low-lying military installation, first impressions are that this building is foreign to the Foster oeuvre, both materially and functionally. Further observation however reveals that the complex process of wine making is - characteristically - elegantly and efficiently rationalised.
The design makes use of the slope of the site to aid the wine-making process. The cladding and roof are Corten shingles whose colour tones with the surrounding countryside and vineyards. The strong, sharp sunlight casts shadows on the heavy concrete walls, decorative pools of water and wall panels made of recycled oak wine barrels, adding to the sensual richness of this emblematic building.