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Zuccardi Winery: Secret Doors and the Infinite Stone

Courtesy of the Zuccardi family

Nestled among mighty mountains in the captivating Uco Valley, the Zuccardi family’s newest wine production center could easily be mistaken for the set of a space warrior movie or a new-age place of worship.

Instead, it’s a temple dedicated to the rituals of making and drinking wine—created by a group of devout believers as a majestic tribute to nature.

“We proposed a bodega that would be integrated into its environment,” explained José Alberto Zuccardi, who runs his family business.

We were interested in materials from the place itself—sand, concrete, stone—and the building lies in a spot where it almost becomes part of the mountain.

Angular outer walls aim to mimic the surrounding peaks in form and color: They’re cast from gray concrete with a layer of round stones carefully embedded in the mix as a decorative flourish.

A jagged path leads visitors past lush green fields, through an entrance emblazoned with sculpted metal vines, into a welcoming lobby. A hidden door in one section of the whitewashed, wood-paneled wall swings open—inviting curious explorers to discover the wine production area. Architect Fernando Raganato told ArchiExpo e-Magazine:

I designed a route for the public so they can understand the full process.

Sebastián and José Alberto Zuccardi

Sebastián and José Alberto Zuccardi

His open walkway gives a clear view of towering egg-shaped concrete vats, where grape juice is taken to ferment. He explained:

That workspace is the heart of the building. We had to make sure it’s compact, so people can easily move around and bring in the product.

The walkway carries on through a glass corridor which guides visitors out of the production area, down to the next section: An underground cave where barrels of wine are left to age. Its arched structure was cast using wooden molds and concrete, which helps maintain an optimum cool temperature.

Zuccardi Valle de Uco

Zuccardi Valle de Uco

An intimate tasting room with dark wooden furnishing sits behind a glass partition near the storage area. But the main drinking chamber lies under the reflective dome of a central tower, which rises above the other wings of the winery and provides a pleasing contrast to its stark brutalist lines.

Inside, a round table follows the curves of the cupola, circled around a glass portal in the floor which looks down into a dimly lit storage room directly below. It feels like a sacred shrine: Hundreds of bottles are clustered in racks facing a huge rock, known as “the infinite stone,” which was saved from the site before construction began. Raganato concluded:

The concept of the cupola is universality and unity. It’s the final point, for both the people and the wine – so you can open a bottle and taste it there.

Sebastián and José Alberto Zuccardi

The top image shows “the infinite stone”. Courtesy of the Zuccardi family.

About the Author

Frederick Bernas is a journalist, filmmaker and photographer living in Latin America.

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