Macán, a new wine haven

Johansson Arquitectos - Bodegas Macán
La Rioja Alavesa launches its “Wine cathedral” with the official inauguration of Macán Winery. This architectural jewel forges two great names of winemaking: Benjamín de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia. An authentic work of art created by the architect from Sotogrande Enrique Johanson of Terry as a flagship site for legendary red wine. The Macán Winery shares with the villas of Sotogrande all those elements that conform the style and way of working for this architect.

The recently inaugurated Bodega Macán is the result of an agreement between Benjamín Rothschild and Pablo Álvarez back in 2000. Aiming to strengthen ties to create a project merging two greats within wine culture: Bordeaux and Ribera del Duero. Thus, a dream began which was materialized by Sotogrande architect Enrique Johansson after proposing a winning bid selected by the owners in 2013.

Enrique Johansson with the King and Queen of Spain
The architect explains details of the winery inaugurated last June by the King Emeritus, Juan Carlos, and the Infanta Elena de Borbón.

“It was a very demanding Bid, Project and Construction.” “In addition, take into account that visiting nearby wineries means viewing work designed by legendary architects such as Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Rafael Moneo, Santiago Calatrava and Zaha Hadid,” stated Johansson.

From the outset, the architect knew that he had to come up with an idea that responded to the world renown names of the winery: “l immediately knew that |had to carry out a project in which the bodegas were the real protagonists, placing design within the background of the winery, as such,” comments the architect.

Johansson began researching, visiting more than fifteen carefully chosen wineries and studying each aspect of this subject during his long flights trips to Brazil, where he was building social housing.

The challenge was complex: creating a legendary winery, of the highest quality in terms of the wine making process, at about 10,000 square meters and on a plot of land in a natural environment with major landscape value. “The terrain was exceptionally beautiful with the rockiness of Sierra de Cantabria as a backdrop.” “Without a doubt, a place that demanded to be entered tip toeing and almost without making a single noise,” argues Johansson.


From Sotogrande to la Rioja Alavesa

Enrique Johansson is one of the architects that, from his origins, has been defining the landscape of Sotogrande with his projects. The Macán Winery shares with the villas of Sotogrande al those elements that conform the style and way of working for this architect. Sleek, simple concepts search for beauty within the use of white and gray concrete, along with tight collaboration with each client and in-depth development, both during project ideation up until its final phase of construction. In all of his work there is the presence of a modern aesthetic, rational and constructive innovation, a simplicity of materials and a call for sustainability. Most of his projects come from national and international architecture bids he has won. He has participated with his projects in various exhibitions in Spain, Holland, Greece, Italy, Brazil, Benin and France. Also participating in conferences in most of these places. His works appear in a variety of publications.

Architects Johansson, from Sotogrande to Rioja Alavesa


The Bodega

The recently inaugurated Macán Winery is located northeast of the town of Samaniego, nestled in an exceptionally beautiful sport known as “San Millán”. Enjoy stunning views of the Sierra de Cantabria to the North and the Ebro valley to the South with the towns of Samaniego, Leza and in the background the Sierra de Excaray

Thus, he prepared his work, drawing sketches he shared with family and colleagues in order to find the perfect solution for a complex subject. “From the first drawings for this bid, | posed the building in three pieces or volumes so that each one responded to the three main activities of a winery: elaboration, aging and expedition.” Subsequently, I related each aspect of activity at the winery with a basic element of nature; Water (Elaboration), Earth (Aging) and Sun (Expedition), main components for the life of a vineyard. “These three elements accompanied me throughout the development of each idea and design for the winery. [They] reminded me to reflect on the need for intelligent use of water, balancing energy expenditure and minimizing waste,” he elaborated.

Thus, Water, Earth and Sun articulate the three pillars of a cellar whose architecture transmits beauty and harmony throughout, as well as respect for its natural surroundings. “This image is solid and light at the same time. It seeks luminosity and interior space and has a tour or “Paseo de la Bodega”, which results very attractive and functional,” clarifies the author.

As for its exterior image, the architect explains that it comes with two large “matte gray” zinc roofs, in keeping with the rocky massifs of the Sierra de Cantabria. White and gray comprise the unmistakable seal of work by Enrique Johansson. Notable as his predominant use colors, with brush strokes of bordeaux for the pieces that serve as the joint articulation between the halls. Serving as a tongue in cheek nod to wine from conception until birth as it leaves this new cathedral which is already part of the architectural jewels of the 21st century. Finally, an appealing idea emerged that the water storage should be dedicated to Rothschild, France and the Sun ship to Vega Sicilia, Spain so the Earth, Rioja Alavesa, would act as the union between the two elements.


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