The mythic Pétrus de Pomerol is one of the great wines of Bordeaux. A decade ago, its producers – the Moueix family – launched the adventure of setting up a sister plant in Northern California. Under the name Dominus, Christian Moueix and his wife Cherise Chen concocted a wine that acquired instant fame, and soon had to build a winery among their vineyards in the Napa Valley, near San Francisco. As collectors of art, the couple wanted something more than a mere agricultural shed, and set out to find an architect at a par with their product. An intense search led them to Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Basel-based professionals with impeccable artistic credentials as well as certified enophiles.
Jacques Herzog, who professes to surpass our own Rafael Moneo’s connoisseurship, assured Christian Moueix that he would try to make a building “as good as his wine,” and now, three years later, this has been achieved. Indeed, the interminable box of basalt stone that will shelter the first vintage this autumn has the refined naturalness, body and texture of an excellent wine: Pétrus has turned to stone in the Napa Valley...[+]