With the completion of its new Winery, the perfect conclusion to the multisensory journey which commences with the Donna Franca Tasting Room, Florio has brought to life a new Wine Cellar concept: a magical, seductive place, offering a unique experience in which visitors will find themselves at the centre of an unexpected world. The historic Cantine Florio Wine Cellars in Marsala, Italy, have new energy coursing through them, welcoming in their visitors as they begin a journey filled with charm and fascination to explore a sophisticated and astonishing world.
Tradition and innovation come together in the new Florio Concept Winery: the traditional Wine Cellar tour and tasting has evolved into an original and unusual adventure involving both the senses and the soul. The Florio Concept Winery was born from a desire to express in a coherent and unambiguous manner a specific identity, communicated with style and elegance, but also to lead visitors on a unique journey in which every element comes together to create a unique and exclusive world. The plurality of emotions experienced by visitors to the Concept Winery stems from the very architecture of the place, from its history more than a century old, from the layout of the spaces and the multisensory stimuli emanating from the various environments.
The Concept Winery is based upon a very clear idea: the desire to provide its visitors with a complete and unforgettable experience and help them to discover a world of magical atmospheres, sensory wellbeing and style. An unmistakeable style which represents the avant-garde and the modern, excellence and uniqueness, knowledge and culture. Thus Florio has become an icon of innovation amongst tradition, as the Concept Winery has successfully brought to life a new Wine Cellar concept, in which design, architecture, light, sound, perfumes and products come together in a visionary creation.
The Wine Cellar
Built in tufa stone by Vincenzo Florio in 1832, the Cantine Florio Wine Cellars in Marsala, Italy, reflect the era’s typically Anglo-Saxon style, with large pointed arches and tufa powder flooring. The bailey structure, which covers a surface area of 44,000 square metres, represents the heart of the Marsala wine production. in the past, the Florio company’s ships would set off from here, loaded with its precious nectar, and the world’s most famous Marsala wine is still produced here today. Florio wines are created in the 6000 square metres of production space, and aged in historic barrels carefully conserved in the 7400 square metre aging department. Visitors will be astounded by the beauty of these historic spaces: each nave is 165 metres long and there are some 104 arcades, under which 1400 kegs stand side by side along with around 600 different capacities of barrels and vats.
The new Winery
The new Winery is an avant-garde space which is unique in Italy, home to all of the Duca di Salaparuta, Corvo and Florio wines, as well as a selection of the finest hand crafted and typical Sicilian produce. Visitors are engulfed by a multitude of emotions, sensations and stimuli which come not only from the variety of products on offer, but also from the architecture and the design of the Winery itself, created (like the Donna Franca Florio Tasting Room) inside one of the Wine Cellar’s lateral naves and from the specific layout. “When they asked me to design the new Florio Winery,” architect Franco Marabelli explains, “I was won over by the idea of creating a space which wasn’t just somewhere to shop, but something alive and welcoming. A place where those who love wine, but also art and architecture, could spend enjoyable moments in an environment which keeps the Wine Cellar’s original structure intact. In creating the Winery, I was inspired by the colours and traditions of Sicily: a red background, with overhanging elements, enriched by a mosaic inspired by one of the historic Florio posters (“Folletto”) as the focal point for the room, the floor black like the lava from the volcano on the slopes of which Duca di Salaparuta cultivate the Pinot Nero and Nerello Mascalese grapes, the displaying of the bottles on transparent structures so that they could almost be floating, creating an open and airy space. The large perforated Cor-Ten door allows the bright sunlight to filter gently in, and outside, the row of columns, also in Cor-Ten, support a thriving grape pergola. A Winery which presented an exciting challenge, a new way of bringing together history, innovation and a love for the gifts of this rugged and generous land.”
The Winery welcomes its visitors at the end of a journey which begins with a tour of the historic wine cellars, which reflect Florio’s history, spanning more than a century, followed by multisensory wine tasting before concluding in this new space designed and created to express and fully sum up the style of the Duca di Salaparuta Group: elegant, eclectic and charming. A place in which the wines on offer are presented in an unusual and carefully thought out journey, set out not by product type but by the ideal occasion for their consumption.
In the architectonic project as a whole, the lighting, managed by Studio Luminae’s Lighting Designer Lorenzo Bruscaglioni, played a crucial role. The light is key in accentuating the very details of the exhibition and the architecture which make this wine cellar tour a journey through time and the region itself. For the project, Luminae chose Reggiani Illuminazione’s 14W and 16W LED SunLuce systems with colour temperatures of 3000 Kelvin in order to create warm and welcoming tones with a high colour rendering index (CRI 90). As it was not possible to mount the luminaires on the wine cellar’s age-old naves, electrified tracks were placed inside the new Winery at a height of 4 and 5 metres, with the luminaires on the lower track spanning the entire length of the room, to illuminate each exhibition stand individually. The precision of the optics allows the directed lighting of the bottles and the Florio brand’s typical produce, with a preference for narrow beam widths (12°) to showcase the detailing, and elliptical optics to illuminate the horizontal surfaces. The products were provided with on board dimmers to allow rapid and localised adjustment of the light quantity as needed. The 4 metre track also includes several ZeroZeroUno luminaires with 70W metal iodide light sources and Dali Dimmers, plus a special framing projector which allowed the background illumination of the walls behind the tasting counter and other decorative elements.
Every detail in the new Florio Winery, from the lighting design to the furnishings, from the choice of music to the embellishments, has been designed to envelop and welcome the visitors into a surprising universe, guiding them as they discover sensations and emotions never experienced before. A spacious and light place where time appears to stand still, somewhere to lose oneself, calmly and at one’s own pace, in the contemplation of the wines and objects of art present and to continue to take in the essence of an extraordinary experience.