Winery Landscape Design

by Ben Bowen

Wineries rely on the function of plants in the vineyard. Visiting a winery is about being close to the people and plants that make the wine happen, so it is not a surprise that the gardens around wineries are often very thoughtfully designed.

Ross NW Watergardens has two vineyard - winery projects in the pipeline, one a home above a couple’s winery and the other a new garden at a winery that is soon to be built. Wondering what design principles come into play? There are three things we have learned while planning for these projects.

winery landscape design by Ross NW Watergardens

Winery Landscape Design Principles:

  1. Design a garden for the wine consumers, not the wine makers. Niche vintners are passionate about their vineyards, grapes, and wine. They are equally as passionate about their customers, perhaps even viewing them as partners. Branding and marketing are carefully crafted. The landscape should fit the customers, the branding, the marketing. The winery, the wine bottles and their labels, and the landscape should all feel like one experience.

  2. Design a garden that will improve with age. It makes sense, right? Wine improves with time, and making wine is a long term endeavor. Don’t over plant, don’t plant trees that will outgrow the space, and don’t use man made materials that quickly look faded and old. Use boulders, stone, naturally long lasting woods (juniper, cedar, ipe) to create spaces that mature as the elements do their work.

  3. Keep water use and maintenance requirements very low. Sustainability is important to wine makers and consumers. The garden can signal a commitment to that. Design for a time when the winery has less resources for the garden, perhaps because they are expanding or the market is slumping. A well thought out design can be beautiful but not needy. Let’s do that.

You might notice that none of the above addresses style or aesthetic. There is no one style that fits a winery. There are great Japanese Gardens at wineries, like this one by Hoichi Kurisu at Saffron Fields Winery:

saffron field winery landscape designer

Argyle Winery has a new landscape done by Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery that defies categorization by prioritizing xeric plantings. (Check it out here.)

Style will follow the identity the winery has established, or hopes to establish. It is wise to find a designer who has a portfolio that really fits what the winery is trying to say. Thing Ross NW Watergardens might be the design-build firm you need? Contact Ben Bowen today and set up a design consultation.