A New Wine Press For Champagne Bourgeois Diaz


Thierry Bonne Architecte was awarded the 2nd prize in the Regional Wood Construction Prize for his new wine press project designed in the Champagne region of France. The office describes the project as follows:

The project, managed by Champagne Bourgeois Diaz, involved building a wine press and a wine-tourism room on top of an existing vinification cellar.

At the gateway to the Champagne region, in Crouttes-sur-Marne (Aisne), the distinctive feature of the estate is its biodynamic viticulture, and the new wine press has a highly symbolic dimension in this respect.

Built above the existing vinification cellar, in place of a garden of little interest, the press allows the winemaker to work by gravity, without a pump.

The programme also included a wine tourism vision for the estate. Hence this hall, which brings together the two activities and has become the focus for visitors and customers, who can see for themselves the special work of the winegrower. The hall reflects the biodynamic winemaker's special approach to blending, which is the essence of champagne, and the balance that comes from respecting the rhythm and nature of biodynamic winemaking.

The mushroom-shaped structural composition of this large hall reflects its balance, and the multiplicity of its purlins reflects its blending.

Together, the porticos form a wooden vault under which the wine-making activity is housed.

The Environmental Approach
The client's biodynamic vision of his business meant that it had to meet stringent environmental requirements. The structure, given the low loads required, offers a response to the desire to use local materials. Poplar was chosen for its technical characteristics, its colour and the proximity of the entire supply chain - a species that is particularly well suited to the structural and architectural form chosen.

The insulation is a mixture of wood wool, wood fibre and cellulose wadding. The flooring in the wine-tourism room is made of oak strips on edge from French sawmill waste.

The external cladding of the surrounding timber frame is made from local chestnut, also sourced from local sawmills.

Double-flow ventilation linked to a pellet stove keeps the wine-tourism room comfortable in both winter and summer. A double rainwater recovery system supplies the sanitary facilities and the biodynamic mixes.

Finally, the various roof levels are home to gardens with a variety of objectives: growing the plants needed for biodynamic work, thermal considerations, retention and management of rainwater. All these choices are part of a resolutely low-carbon approach.