restaurant – la terrasse rouge
Château la Dominique, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé, benefits from its superb location in an area world heritage listed by UNESCO. Set in the middle of a one-hectare park, the château consists of a manor house, two wine storehouses perpendicular to it, the contemporary wine storehouse that was completed in 2014, and a farm building. The new storehouse was designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel as a commission from the owner, Clément Fayat, in response to the major technical requirement of supporting the increase in the surface area of vines under production and of improving the chäteau’s wine-making tools.
Jean Nouvel designed a building of pure volumes that takes off from the existing building in hewn stone and soars out into the vineyard in a horiztonal line. But beyond his precise response to the commission for a technical building, the architect has delivered a construction that brings out the exceptional position of the domaine, on the one hand, and on the other, provides an interpretation, both personal and universal, of his vision of wine and the pleasure of wine tasting. Covered in mirror-effect stainless steel slats in six different shades of red, the storehouse plays with our perception, just as the colour of a wine does, offering variations in reflection, intensity, hue, depth… Looking at it also means looking at the vines reflected in it in fragmented images and, depending on the visitor’s position, the vineyard landscape is reflected in inverted images thanks to the progressive inclination of the steel slats.
The roof was imagined as a panoramic terrace offering the visitor a fabulous lookout over the surrounding landscape of vineyards, dotted with grand chäteaus and villages and more. The terrace is covered in red glass gravel, like a mass of symbolic grapes the visitor can tread. It is partly covered and harbours a panoramic restaurant forming a gazebo, the only one of its kind in the Bordeaux wine-growing area. La Terrasse Rouge is open all year round.
Glazed on three sides and opening onto the terrace, with its red glass gravel, the restaurant is an invitation to conviviality and pleasure. It is entirely fitted-out with Essence tables, made of solid wood of different essences, designed by Jean Nouvel Design and crafted by Eric Rouchon, a cabinet-maker based in Sarlat.