Nestled within the enchanting landscapes of Georgia, the Shilda Winery is a celebration of architectural ingenuity and a showcase for the creative use of steel in design.
The Kakheti region which is home to the Shilda winery produces 75% of the country’s total wine production. Part of the oldest viticultural tradition in the world, Georgia is known as the ‘cradle of wine’.
Some of the world’s oldest archaeological finding’s related to winemaking come from this region, dating back to 6,000BCE. Standing against this proud 8,000-year heritage of winemaking is one of the world’s most modern and stunning wineries.
Designed to be part of the scenery
Integrated seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, the winery’s steel-built design enabled the creation of expansive windows and glass façades that provide panoramic views of the vineyards and hills beyond.
The winery’s terraced architecture, supported by steel frameworks, mimics the natural contours of the land, further enhancing its integration with the environment. This connection between steel, architecture, and nature creates an immersive experience for visitors, making the winery’s aesthetic as much of a draw as the vintage wines it produces.
The Shilda Winery’s architectural innovation lies not only in its elegant fusion of traditional and modern elements but also in its strategic incorporation of steel. It demonstrates how steel can be more than just a structural component—it can be a medium for creative expression.
The Shilda Winery’s represents a remarkable synthesis of materials, with steel taking centre stage. The use of steel beams, columns, and frameworks harmoniously complements the traditional elements of local stone and timber, creating a visually striking façade that captures the eye.
The design capitalises on steel’s strength-to-weight ratio, allowing for vast open spaces and soaring ceilings that characterise the winery’s interiors. Large glass walls supported by steel frames create a sense of transparency, connecting the indoor spaces with the breath-taking outdoor scenery.
Steel’s sleek and contemporary appearance also aligns seamlessly with the winery’s minimalist design principles. From sleek staircases to elegantly designed railings, steel’s versatility is on full display.
A green winery amongst the greenery
Shilda Winery hasn’t just raised the bar architecturally, it has also implemented innovative energy-efficient practices to minimise its environmental footprint while producing high-quality wines.
The use of solar panels to harness renewable energy from the region’s abundant sunlight provides a significant portion of the winery’s electricity, while the sloped design allows for soil and plants to overlap the building envelope and use its thermal mass to provide insulation.
Additionally, the owners have invested in modern winemaking equipment that is designed to optimise energy use throughout the production process, from crushing grapes to bottling the final product.
The Shilda winery has 24 stainless steel-built Qvevries – an egg-shaped vessel traditionally made from clay – with a total capacity 48,000 litres. Each Qvevri is surrounded by a chilled glycol spiral that used to provide precise temperature control. This allows for a cold soak of the grapes and for lower-temperature fermentation which makes for ‘highly aromatic wines with a fresh acidity’.
Whether in its stunning design, or in the infrastructure and systems that produce its delicious wines, the Shilda winery is reliant on the enduring powers of steel to carry the regions deeply held viticultural traditions into a bright future.