Rifugio del vino, Cantina Les Crêtes.
They call them heroic wines and that's what they really are, because they're produced in remote areas with harsh climates, such as mountain slopes.
At the foot of the Aymavilles castle in Valle D'Aosta we can find these wines produced by Les Crêtes, a family-run winery continuing a centuries-old tradition that dates back as far as 1800.
The new "Rifugio del Vino" building designed by the architect Domenico Mazza from Courmayeur is a modern alpine hut built alongside the historic wine cellar.
The design aims to unite architecture, wine and mountain culture, and was given a special mention in the international "Le Cattedrali del Vino" competition, a secondary event at the Venice Biennale, by the Gambero Rosso magazine.
The philosophy of Les Crêtes continues to adhere to the values of past generations, by appreciating the terroir with allegiance and respect for tradition. One eye is always on the future though, and the innovation that makes it possible to fully express the potential of a wine-growing mountain region such as that of Valle D'Aosta - unique and one-off. This philosophy is reflected in murogeopietra, as outlined by the architect Domenico Mazza:
With its irrefutable sustainability benefits murogeopietra characterises a design considerably. Geopietra contributes to the project's features of minimum impact and respect for the environment without giving up its stone character and its connection with the territory, and by doing so also characterises the premises of a company that is committed to these priorities.
The building's contemporary expression uses the traditional materials of mountain architecture to highlight Les Cretes' philosophy, by constantly balancing experimentation and tradition.
As a result murogeopietra, with a bespoke design that reproduces typical wall arrangements in the area along with the frame's wood sheeting and zinc sheeting on the roof, was chosen to characterise the volumes of the building, and the elegant dynamic result certainly appeals.
The overall profile of the construction, which is reminiscent of a rocky massif from afar, has transpired from intertwining various simple sloping volumes. Various production and sales premises are situated under the large covered courtyard in addition to leisure areas linked by an interesting itinerary for visitors.
In short, somewhere to seek out the authenticity of the area - the harmonious landscape of the Valle D'Aosta mountains, the climate, and the warmth of its people.
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Domenico Mazza was born in Aosta on 12 December1971. He grew up and lives in Courmayeur, breathing the mountain air and nurturing an interest in the landscape and buildings from when he was very young. He attended a technical college for surveyors in Aosta and, while studying, worked as an apprentice designer for various architectural firms in Courmayeur. After graduating from the Faculty of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Turin, he practised as a freelance architect and set up his own business at the foot of Mont Blanc.
This successful professional decision led him to working with various architectural firms on projects of considerable importance, such as residences in the Arab Emirates and mountain hotels and villas in Italy and abroad (France, Mexico), mainly investing his energies in the modern reinterpretation of traditional mountain architecture. His company, Work In Progress, mainly deals with small and large projects for private clients who want their home to have an original, personal design.