Finalist 2022

Levantine Hill Estate Winery

Fender Katsalidis

As showcase of the Levantine Hill brand, the state-of-the-art winery building is a destination that offers a complete wine experience.

Levantine Hill Estate Winery responds to the Victorian rural landscape and the estate’s needs for an all-inclusive hospitality and wine experience. Inspired by the winemaking process and the Yarra Valley backdrop, the facility seamlessly combines industrial and hospitality uses, delivering a state-of-art structure and a must-see cultural, wine and art destination.

Design Brief

A showcase of the Levantine Hill brand, in concert with the neighbouring cellar door and restaurant, the Levantine Hill Estate winery building provides a complete wine experience across the vineyard, events, tasting and presentation spaces.

Paying homage to the winemaking process, the design of the state-of-the-art winemaking facility and fully-fledged function space has been inspired by the serene backdrop of foothills and agricultural land associated with grape growing and wine.

Adding to the rich character of the Yarra Valley, Levantine Hill Estate winery is a destination that both wine and design lovers alike can experience and engage with, elevating the calibre of hospitality in the region.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

The 250-tonne-per-year winemaking facility with basement wine cellar seamlessly combines a major reception hall within its barrel vault structure. As the process developed, the brief evolved to include a barrel vault pavilion extension adding to the flexibility of the overall space. The pavilion extension unlocks additional entertainment space with panoramic views of Yarra Valley to the facility. The building’s design vision always favoured form and space and did not reply on expensive material palette. Inspired by agricultural buildings, appropriate materials were selected for longevity and appearance and included natural raw materials used in combination with steel, concrete, and polished stone. Infusing the spirit of winemaking across the design, wine engineers and technologist including Tom Hester were engaged. Planning was done in close consultant with the estate’s head winemaker Paul Bridgeman. A collection of noteworthy sculptural pieces from distinguished artists were incorporated throughout the space, highlighted by a major light installation by artist Frank Bauer.

Design Excellence

The surrounding bucolic countryside serves as inspiration for a design that allows the celebration of wine’s connection to the land. By visually integrating the building with the rolling landscape and using materials synonymous with regional structures, the aim was to achieve a design in harmony with the natural and agricultural surroundings.

The winery’s rolled arched structure has been sheeted with galvanised steel purlins and corrugated iron cladding to reflect this cultivated setting. The curvature of the building’s black steel framework resembling a pristine barrel vault captures vistas of the vineyard and is in concert with the neighbouring cellar door. From rainwater collecting tanks to the use of native flora in the landscaping, Levantine Hill Estate respects its natural connection to the Yarra Biodiversity Corridor. As production facility, many EPA regulations have been met regarding the disposal of waste. For instance, organic rich grey water from winery production is retained, treated and reused for landscape irrigation and management.

Design Innovation

The winery’s requirements and uses were integrated with a sustainability programme that included rainwater collection for irrigation, organic grey water retention, treatment and reuse, and extensive return of native flora to the landscape. In so doing, Levantine Hill Estate respects its natural connection to the Yarra Biodiversity Corridor. The winery’s quality offering combines education and training in the fields of hospitality and winemaking. As a drawcard and as am employer, Levantine Hill Estate provides real economic and tourism benefit to the region as a world-class producer of fine wine, food, entertainment and architecture.

Design Impact

The Levantine Hill Estate winery contributes uniquely to the reputation and status of the Yarra Valley as a must-see destination for fine food, wine, hospitality, art, and architecture. The state-of-the-art winemaking structure is a new Yarra Valley attraction celebrating Victoria's design and wine culture through form and space. The architecture has delivered a building that, whilst striking and almost imposing, sits beautifully and gently in its environs. The versatility of spaces and uses throughout adds to the region's rich culture and attracts diverse visitors and locals.

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