Medhurst Winery

Type — Commercial

Location — Yarra Valley

Status — Completed 2011


Medhurst Wines is a bespoke family run winery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. The 250 tonne wine making facility sits adjacent to an existing cellar door. The design is intended to enable public engagement with the winemaking process.

A meandering path leads patrons from wine tasting, through a series of landscaped spaces, to views of the production area and vines beyond.

The building is embedded into a north facing slope, and defined by a series of horizontal elements that follow the contours of the site. Nestled quietly into the existing hill to reduce its visual impact on the landscape, and the building accentuates its natural setting by framing views to the surrounding Warramate forest.

The programmatic requirements, orientation, and restrained materials palette were thoroughly considered in order to reduce the building’s energy use, ongoing maintenance and provide a sustainable outcome.

A landscaped green roof over the subterranean barrel store provides both a raised terrace with views to the surrounding vines and thermal insulation for the stored wine below, reducing the requirement for mechanical cooling. Similarly, the heat reflective, polycarbonate cladding to the northern facade of the winemaking area replaces artificial lighting with filtered natural sunlight. At night the wall becomes translucent, revealing the profile of the wine making equipment within.

Located in a sensitive bushfire zone, an emphasis on durable materials and sustainability was paramount. The building is low maintenance, optimising natural light and relying on minimal mechanical cooling. The roof collects approximately 500,000 liters of rainwater every year, all of which is filtered and used in the wine-production process.

Photo: Peter Bennetts