Master architect Frank Gehry presents design plans for Le Clos Jordan winery in Canada's Niagara peninsula
The long-awaited design for Vincor’s new winery, Le Clos Jordan,
designed by the world-renowned architect, Frank Gehry, was finally unveiled
today (July 9th).
During a special presentation held in the Town of Lincoln in the Niagara
Peninsula, the principals of Canadian-based Vincor International and Boisset,
La Famille des Grands Vins, of Nuits-St-Georges, France, provided updates
on their new vineyard estate, Le Clos Jordan.
The winery will be sited at the centre of Le Clos Jordan’s principal
35-acre vineyard, on the gently sloping Jordan Bench of the Niagara Escarpment,
Ontario, near the Town of Lincoln. Surrounded by environmentally protected
forest and woodlands, the winery would be hidden from view, some 1,500
feet from the nearest road (Regional Road 81.) As visitors drive around
the edge of the vineyard, the winery would slowly reveal itself, complementing
the landscape as a gently flowing structure with softly curving white
plaster walls and an undulating metal roof, reflecting the natural landscape
and the sky.
The winery will operate on multiple levels both above and below grade
to take advantage of the natural gravity flow within the winemaking process.
Sections for each of the key stages in wine making, including grape crushing,
de-stemming, pressing, and tank and barrel fermentation, together with
a tasting lounge, a wine boutique, and a glass enclosed gathering area
in the red wine cellar, would be organized around a central great hall
from which each area would be clearly visible. The current design for
the great hall calls for a series of floor-to-ceiling columns soaring
dramatically from their base in the underground cellar.
Labour of Love
Speaking on behalf of a team of 14 architects who have been working on
the Le Clos Jordan winery project, Frank Gehry was enthusiastic about
the results. "We have been guided by the passion that our clients
at Vincor and Boisset have for wine and winemaking," he said. "We’ve
worked to create a precedent-setting facility in which they’ll produce
wines that will be among the best in the world. Some aspects of the design
have been a breakthrough for us. And, on a personal note," he added,
"I am very excited at the prospect of working in Canada."
His most noted buildings include the Nationale-Nederlanden ("Ginger
and Fred") Building in Prague, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and
the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington.
"We are absolutely thrilled with Frank’s design plans for our
winery," said Jean-Charles Boisset, Vice-President, Boisset. "Frank
and his team have shown great sensitivity to the natural beauty of the
vineyard by creating shapes that grow gently out of our unique 'terroir.'
They have also embraced every stage of the winemaking process with an
extraordinary understanding of the characteristics of both Burgundy and
The principal vineyard at Le Clos Jordan was planted in 2000, with vines
shipped from a nursery in Burgundy. The planting material was carefully
selected to match the clay loam soils of the Jordan Bench setting on the
Niagara Escarpment. Adjacent to the principal Le Clos Jordan site, two
more recently acquired vineyard properties are also under development.
The first, comprising 27 acres, was planted in 2000 and the second, with
approximately 75 acres, is just ready for planting. Together they bring
the total size of Le Clos Jordan estate to 137 acres, 75% dedicated to
Pinot Noir and 25% to Chardonnay.