Probably commissioned and built to distract serious oenophiles from the questionable terroir of smog-choked Beijing, the Asterisk winery, restaurant, and wine showroom was designed by the Japanese firm SAKO Architects. A single, five-winged structure houses all of these functions under one aluminum roof, all on a man-made island in the middle of a lake. The 22,000-square-foot complex will be an offshoot of the high-end Napa winemaker formerly known as Sloan, which was purchased in 2011 by a Hong Kong conglomerate looking to bring California wine to Asian consumers. This is far from the world's only high-design winery. Find four more, including examples from starchitects Herzog & de Meuron and Frank Gehry, below.
↑ Nestled on the exquisite 124-acre Dominus Estate, in the heart of Napa Valley, this elongated winery structure was designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron in 1996. The 50,000-square-foot building was the starchitecture duo's first in the U.S., but thanks to Napa Valley permitting, the beautiful building is not open to the public. Remarkably, the architects produced this project for under the allotted $5M budget, using local rock and wire mesh for many of the walls. That mesh allows filtered light into the interior, but, when first completed, also let in snakes, necessitating the addition of a finer mesh around the base of the building.
↑ The vintners behind Marques de Riscal winery, the oldest vineyard in the Rioja region of Spain, desired something a bit wilder when they went to build a hotel to accompany their estate in 1998. So, naturally, they turned to architect Frank Gehry, fresh off his eye-popping Guggenheim Bilbao. In response, Gehry produced this even crazier, and far more colorful, design for the vineyard. Today, the hotel is operated under the umbrella of Starwood Resorts, which is charging around $430 per night in high season.
↑ A structure of monumental size and form that calls to mind the work of the legendary Louis Kahn, this Argentinian winery was in fact designed by local architects Bórmida & Yanzón. The giant overarching roof provides shade and covers a cavernous storage space, while much of the production space is hidden underground. Nominated for several architecture awards, the O. Fournier Winery opened in 2008.