Van Volxem cultivates vineyards in the best slate steep slopes in almost all valleys of the Saar and had reached a size that made it necessary to move out of the center of Wiltingen. The new building on the Wiltinger Schlossberg was constructed on the site of a former winery, incorporating the existing cellar rooms, which had previously been completely renovated. The location is characterized by the gently moving topography of the surrounding, intact with a view of striking steep slopes and the scenic oxbow of the Saar River. Embedded in an environment of vineyards and ecologically cultivated orchards, the ensemble blends gently into its natural, scenic context. The complex is divided into two buildings, which are connected to each other by the basement. The elongated main building, which follows the course of the road, houses the production facilities on a total of three levels. The working levels follow the natural course of the terrain enable a pump – free processing of the grapes and musts. In front of the press house are the bottling and shipping areas with the associated loading zone, the full – product storage area and administration. The basement houses the sedimentation area, four tank farms, the wooden barrel cellar and a cage storage area with freight elevator. The tower – like second structure is slightly rotated in relation to the main structure and stands freely on the southern slope of the Saar. In the basement, this monolith accommodates the cellar, where selected top wines are subjected to an aging process lasting several years. On the ground floor, a vinotheque with tasting facilities invites visitors to buy wine. On the upper floor, the tasting room offers an unobstructed view of one of the most valuable white wine sites in the world, the Wiltinger Scharzhofberg, of further great vineyards of Van Volxem and the natural oxbow of the Saar. Between the buildings stretches a wide open space, framed by the rotation of the building volumes and at the same time opening up to the vineyards and the natural landscape. The courtyard is reserved exclusively for visitors. Under the visitors’ courtyard and and adjacent to the Raritätenkeller is the large wooden barrel cellar, the centerpiece of the new manufactory. The heat is generated by a wood chip plant, which is fed with local wood chips. A photovoltaic system, which is mounted on the main building and cannot be seen from the outside, is used to generate electricity. In the natural pond, below the visitor courtyard, the rainwater will be collected. Dry stone walls, hedges and slate beds with drought – resistant planting contribute to the harmonious integration into the surrounding natural and cultural landscape. All facades are made of shell limestone (travertine), which in addition to its friendly, lively character, but also has an excellent aging quality. The “tower” with its castle – like character is firmly anchored in the ground, the reveal depths of the windows emphasize the plasticity of the building volume. The architectural language is one of great clarity and timelessness. In its high value, the new Van Volxem manufactory is intended to reflect the elegance and great drinking pleasure of the Saar wines produced here and to pay homage to the golden age of Saar wine.
What makes this project one-of-a-kind?
The monolithic representative building rises like a landmark on the southern edge of the Saar slope with a view of one of the most renowned white wine sites in the world, the Scharzhofberg. In the wooden barrel cellar, which is entirely lined with natural stone, wholesome wines with moderate alcohol content and mineral finesse mature in the style of the famous Saar wines from around 1900.