Luce’s Cellar, designed so that Luce can fully express its unique character
Luce della Vite’s cellar was born from Lamberto Frescobaldi’s desire to create a space that would allow Luce to fully express its unique character. It’s the perfect synthesis of the sobriety typical of the Frescobaldi family and the temperament of this wine. A marriage where the past coexists with a desire to discover the new, in pure Luce style.
Architect Luciana Bassan gave life to Lamberto Frescobaldi’s vision, designing the Cellar. English garden designer Richard Shelbourne created the garden above the cellar itself, in synergy with the surrounding hills, where Luce, Lucente and Luce Brunello are born.
The result is an almost an underground temple. The structure has a single-storey and expresses sobriety, where the severity of cement, steel and Canaletto walnut wood, dwindles in Luce’s totalising love for beauty.
A long corridor in glassy lava stone is the Cellar’s dominating feature, with a 5 metre vaulted ceiling that acts as a junction between the outer courtyard and the underground environment. Along this corridor, from the grape allocation rooms to the winemaking space, to the bottling room and the barrique cellar, the Cellar shows the stages that lead to the creation of Luce until it reveals the Old Cellar.
The fulcrum of Bassan’s design, this final room was conceived as a medieval library and completely covered with Canaletto walnut, used for the inlaid floor, the panelled ceiling and the classical-style columns. In a game of Chinese boxes, the Old Cellar is located inside another, slightly larger and less illuminated space. This emphasises an atmosphere of soft sacredness and through the metal mesh walls and interwoven vines one can notice the cradle where the collection of every Luce vintage since its birth is kept, along with some special selections. The Cellar’s treasure.
As you enter, you are enveloped in the flare of backlit reliquaries that house the bottles, creating the sensation of being immersed in a light reminiscent of the sun.
To book a visit to Tenuta Luce call +39.0577 84131
from Monday to Thursday: from 9 am to 1 pm, and from 2 pm to 6 pm
on Friday from 9 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm
Over to the architect
What was your priority in designing the Wine Cellar?
“The Marquis Frescobaldi was clear from the start. The aim was to create a home for Luce, at the same time developing a narrative on its production journey. To show the visitor how this special wine was born using a concrete metaphor, an experiential journey which conjugated bottle and cellar”.
“So we carried out a preliminary study on Luce della Vite, on its aesthetics and values. This suggested that we should physically bring the sun – a symbol of Light – within the cellar, painting its rays on the barrique cellar and bottling room walls and creating steel lamps, again in the barrique cellar and bottling room, and in the Old Cellar too, as faithful reproductions of the star on Luce’s label”.
“We wanted the cellar to serve as a visual reflection of the bottle’s distinctive excellence”.
The Old Cellar represents the project’s pinnacle. Where did you find your inspiration in creating it?
“The Old Cellar is the most intimate place within the home of Luce della Vite, the chest that guards its most precious treasure. So I immediately associated it with something sacred, like the presbytery of a medieval church or the naos of a Greek temple. A place you could only reach if guided there, detaching from the rest of the world and descending, as if into a crypt, to the wonder of a beautiful place”.
“The expedient of the double room, one bigger, darker, and unadorned, that contains a smaller and more precious one, served not only to emphasise its richness, but also to create a physical situation in which the visitor passes from a narrow environment to an airy space, like a hymn to beauty”.
“A path marked by the light filtering through real branches, taken from Luce’s vines, that leads to a place of pleasure full of diffuse light, a space to taste with eyes, palate and nose”.