The project financed by the Government of Spain, with the acronym Cowinergy, focuses on the constructions that are used for wine aging. The research centers on the energy savings that can be achieved with the design of the building itself. In this web page, a design guide is proposed, through the study of Spanish aging cellars, which will be introduced explaining the production environment, to then analyze their construction features.



Three minutes videos are published from each winery, you can find an extended edition, about 10 minutes long, in the spanish version of this website (without english titles). Under each video a title summarizes the characteristics that are sought to highlight each winery. To explain this, the winery “Viña Olabarri” is taken as an example. The following text appears in the title: “Underground cellar “calado” with damped with moisture through molds”.

Below the cover, some data from the context of the winery is described, in this case: it is an old winery from the 19th century, located in the town of Anguciana, excavated in rock and raised on a ground floor with sandstone and an interwoven made out off beech and oak. It is an example of calado (underground cellar typical of the Rioja area). The winery is 473 meters above sea level. The climate of the area is mild, with a mild summer, due to its location in the Ribera del Ebro. The average annual temperature is around 12.5 ° C. During the winter the temperatures reach 2.2ºC and in summer the thermometers can reach 26ºC. The average annual rainfall is 658 mm.


Based on this example, we will realize multiple facets presented by the winery. The video in this case will inform us about a unique feature: the fungi of the walls give a certain damping to the humidity of the entire interior of the draft. Winemakers systematically analyze molds to see that they do not give unwanted aromas or flavors. The molds of this winery belong to the kind Penicillium..

For those who like living things, they will see how the molds of the walls of the underground cellar are changing color depending on their age: when they are young they are white, when they reach their fullness they become dark and when they die they take reddish tones. They do not use air conditioning, so the air doesn’t become dry, neither humidifiers, they only use extractor type fans, and in that way they achieve ideal hygrothermal conditions for the comfort of the wines. A north orientation avoids hot flashes in summer.

This building is an example of architectural ecology; when recycling, the building manifests an environmental friendly option. In this way, it also maintains and revitalizes the urban and social context, which is evident by preserving the entire street of wineries, maintaining the profile and memory of the people of Anguciana.

The great ability to provide information that achieves the audiovisual format allows to describe both the environment and the constructive aspects and to gather them as a whole. We consider this system more objective, by avoiding the rigidity of some rules. In addition is a method of dissemination that manages to connect better with the audience. We have let the technicians tell us their wineries and their experiences, even at the cost of losing some accuracy and precision that will be reflected in the documentation tab, where we also include other aspects that can help when designing.

For this study we contacted more than 4900 wineries in Spain, of these, after a long selection process we focused on 38, which we have grouped into: cellars for generous wines; cellars for red, white and rosé wines. In the videos we focus on this second type, as they are the most abundant; although in this page data of the two types of cellars will be published. For the study we have chosen as sample both, cellars that suppose a great energetic saving and others that do not; This way we can compare costs and designs. See more

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