Why Tuscany’s newest vineyard has non-fruit-bearing vines

There’s a good reason, of course. It’s in a strange location. The winery is also in a strange place…


Rafael Viñoly Architects’ design for the new airport terminal in Florence, the capital of Tuscany, will feature a rooftop vineyard

Why Tuscany’s newest vineyard has non-fruit-bearing vines
  • Chris Boiling
  • 2024-02-27
A new vineyard and winery are being built in Tuscany. What’s different about this project is that the vineyard is largely on the roof of an airport, the winery is behind the departure hall, and two-thirds of the vines won’t produce fruit!
But it will look stunning, especially from the air as people land in Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. This is how the architects, Rafael Viñoly Architects, expect the new terminal to look…

The architects say the design – which should help to transform Florence’s Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci from a regional to international airport – was inspired by and emblemizes the iconic Tuscan landscape and topography. Groundwork begins this year.
The vineyard will be planted on the roof of the new terminal. The 7.7ha (19 acres) of vines will be planted in both phase one of the project (due to be completed by 2026) and phase two (due to be completed by 2035).

The roof of the 50,000sq m airport building will be crowned by non-fruit-bearing vines while 2.4ha of fruit-bearing varieties will be planted on the berm that marks the eastern origin of the roof and the land to the east of that – the lighter shaded vines in the images above: those away from the airport apron and off the engineered roof to facilitate harvests and maintenance.
The 38 rows of roof vines will be planted in 0.6m-deep concrete troughs, which will be irrigated.
The winery behind the departure hall will be open for visits by passengers.
The grapegrower and wine producer for the project will be chosen by the airport owner once the vines are ready to produce fruit.
What’s interesting about the airport owner, Corporación América, is that its Armenian-Argentine president, Eduardo Eurnekian, owns two wineries: Bodega del Fin del Mundo in Patagonia and Karas in Armenia. These are managed by his niece, Juliana Del Aguila Eurnekian.

The piazza at the centre of the new terminal – with arrivals and departures facing each other across the large public space – is expected to see more than 5.9 million international passengers annually.

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