Moving mountains

Carl Fredrik Svenstedt Architect | CFSA as Architects


The terraced hills above Tain l’Hermitage have been cultivated since Roman times and are reputed for some of the best wine along the Rhone Valley. Delas Frères were determined to renovate a historic, centrally located property, investing in their past, despite the challenges of wine harvesting in an urban context.
Using solid, structural stone, the new wine cellar and shop become walls framing a renovated manor house and its garden. The stone relates to the site, while the thermally inert, porous walls create ideal conditions for wine. Ramps within the winery allow visitors to discover the wine process within an efficient interior, and lead to views of the hills from a roof terrace, and down to the bottle cellar under the manor house. Sunlight enters the visitors’ gallery through a continuous skylight, the undulating wall serving as a light reflector for the tank and barrel halls, where direct light would be detrimental.
The shop forms the opposing garden wall, a linear space behind shading, staggered stone pillars. An existing chestnut tree traces a bite out of the wall, under which one finds the shaded, glazed entrance of the shop. The existing mansion affirms itself as the central element of the garden, and is renovated as a guest house, linked to the winery. It has a restaurant and tasting rooms, bedrooms overlooking the garden and a cellar for the historic bottle collection.

This winery is built to be touched. The structural façades are made of load bearing, fifty-centimetre-thick Estaillade stone from down the river. The tender, relatively light sandstone is ideally adapted to massive stone construction, being workable and best in thick structural blocks. The main, undulating wall is eighty metres long and seven metres high, with a geometrically stable, structural form. The wall is made from blocks individually carved by robot, which are post-tensioned to the foundations and bonded horizontally using stainless steel cables. Intelligent machining reduces waste, while the resulting gravel is reused to pave the garden. Despite the unique technicity of the wall, the blocks are mounted traditionally by a two-man father and son team of stonemasons.

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Tradition and modernity

BEGA as Lighting

The new winery in Tain-l’Hermitage provides an extraordinary backdrop for the exquisite wines from Delas Frères.

The roots of the Delas Frères winery date back to 1835. Today the former French family business is part of Deutz Champagne and belongs to the Louis Roederer Group. The premium wines are cultivated on 30 hectares of land on the banks of the Rhône. Wine production, presentation and sales are brought together on the estate in the heart of the village of Tain-l’Hermitage with its 6000 inhabitants. 
The architectural harmony of the winery on the slopes of the Hermitage, which lends its name to one of France’s most famous wines, immediately captivates visitors. A restored historic manor house adjoins the modern winery and its curved sandstone façade, while a linearly structured presentation and sales area and a landscape garden complete the winery complex. 

Powerful, unconventional façades convey an extraordinary splendour.

The building and garden complex of the Delas Frères winery has been described by the trade press as an “architectural marvel”.
This enthusiastic description is inspired first and foremost by the distinctive and eye-catching façades designed by architect Carl Fredrik Svenstedt and his team. Mighty stone walls, an unconventional sales area and the traditional manor house frame the garden and give the estate an extraordinary splendour.

“Here we can welcome lovers of our brand and Rhône Valley wine in style.”
Fabrice Rosset, CEO Deutz-Delas Group

BEGA luminaires set the scene for the buildings, both indoors and out. The aim and result of the lighting design of Maison Delas Frères was to give the weight, elegance and structural details of these architectural statements the attention they deserve – even in the dark. The in-ground luminaires turn the stone wall, which is 80 metres long and up to eight metres high in some places, and its fluted structure into a stage in the truest sense of the word: the unusual architecture creates the impression of an oversized curtain for the observer. The adjoining historical manor house embodies the tradition of the winery. It offers guests and company partners all the amenities of modern meeting rooms and accommodations. The cellar houses the winery’s historic wine collection, which dates back 185 years.

The manor house’s 19th century walls also provide a contrast to the “new” materials used in the winery – stone, glass and steel. These materials characterise the sales and presentation area, which curves around an old chestnut tree, providing it with ample space.

The stone architecture, which is characteristic of the region, protects the winery’s tanks and the barrel halls

Visitors are expressly invited to take a closer look at the product and the production of the wine: the Delas Frères winery has a series of ramps that allow them to follow the production process. Visitors can also take a peek into the storage rooms. A roof terrace with a view of the vineyards completes the visual experience of a journey through the history of wine making.


The efficient, targeted and economical illumination of the production and storage areas is provided by BEGA surface-mounted ceiling luminaires and floodlights.


While skylights allow daylight to flood the ramps and corridors, the mighty curved stone façade reflects sunlight to shield the tanks and barrels. The porous sandstone is thermally neutral, meaning the temperature in the winery remains stable at all times.


The 50-centimetre thick façade made of stone blocks connected by stainless steel cables extends over a length of 80 metres. Each block was created by robots using raw materials from the region with the same precision that characterises the creation of the wines produced in the winery. The debris from the stone production serves as gravel for the garden.


The winery wall is a classic example of the stone architecture found in the region. Embracing this tradition is, in turn, what makes the estate so modern.

Did you know ...?
... Hermitage Hill, which lends its name to one of France’s most famous wines, was formed during the ice age. 
After a rapid drop in sea levels, 
the Rhône managed to cut its way through the eastern extension of the Massif Central. Geologically speaking, the Hermitage is very complex. Limestone walls were built to prevent 
the thin layers of soil from slipping away.

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