The Black cellar hides itself like a bottle, an Alves de Sousa wine treasure. The grape reception courtyard, leaning over the wine landscape, intentionally connects the Douro-territory, to the beginning of the wine making. Winepress, vats bay, laboratory and bottling, merge in mutual transparencies, showing the logic that everything is supplemented with precision. The casks do their cumbersome work in the shadows below ground. In shale floor, the shop and tasting room, the brand marketing begins.
The building is a platonic volume with two tall floors (56x15m). Lodged carefully, at the Quinta da Gaivosa entrance, in a rugged west slope, without disturbing the vineyard area and wedged between the National Road and the old facilities. Parallel to topography, two uneven access floors arise, letting organize the production process by gravity, as the traditional know-how.
At level 1 (h 8m/9.6m), the wine is made in stainless steel and aging in casks. At level 3 (h4.8m) and sequentially from the grape reception courtyard are the winepress, laboratory, bottling and semi-finished. On top northeast, a higher and strait volume dovetails those floors in 4 levels. At level 1, the changing rooms and the staff canteen; at level 2, administration, at level 3, visitor entrance and wine shop and at level 4 the wine tasting room. At level 5, a panoramic terrace over the surrounding valleys that allows late afternoon wine tastings.
The exterior wall is a ventilated façade type with natural insulation (mineral wool), with passive performance in the cooling season. The outer coating in black Klinker brick optimizes the ventilated façade and conceals visually all the cellar volumes into the picturesque landscape. The building coverage, in control temperature areas are ventilated with the attic of the covering type with natural insulation (mineral wool). In the glazed frames double glazed windows are used with thermal performance.
The wine cellar incites local economy and wine tourism, always regardful with the landscaping, adding construction tradition allying formal and material innovation. So adds up also the quality of the Douro Region, World Heritage of UNESCO.