By Murat Oztaskin | November 28, 2016 | Food & Drink
On the 10th anniversary of its masterpiece hotel, Rioja's oldest winery gifts the LA starchitect a bottle.
Eat, drink, and be Gehry! The Frank Gehry-designed Hotel Marqués de Riscal recalls the architect’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, less than 75 miles away. This fall, the property’s vineyard releases a special edition wine commemorating the LA legend.
In the medieval village of Elciego, Spain, in the rolling hills of Rioja, one structure rises above the rest. Designed by LA-based architect Frank Gehry, the 10-year-old Hotel Marqués de Riscal, a five-star, 43-room luxury property adjacent to the namesake, 159-year-old winery, augments its surroundings—green vineyards, ochre soil, sandstone buildings—by positioning itself as the focal point: the centerpiece of Marqués de Riscal’s “city of wine,” which in addition to the 1 million-square-foot winery includes a spa and Michelin-starred restaurant.
To pay tribute to the Pritzker Prize–winning architect and the hotel’s decade mark, Marqués de Riscal has released a special edition: the Frank Gehry Reserve Selection 2012 Vintage. Made from the tempranillo grapes native to the region, the 2012 vintage is even housed in Gehry-approved bottles: The signed bottle art is the Canadian-born Angeleno’s first sketch for the hotel.
In synergetic service, many of the 5,000 bottles that were released were auction-bound large-format varieties to benefit Turnaround Arts: California, an education initiative that supports high-need schools around the state. “The more you see of the process of winemaking, the more you understand there’s a real artistry to it,” says Gehry, 87. “With good winemakers, [as with] good architects, there’s attention to materials and craftsmanship, a dedication to tradition, and also a pursuit of innovation.” Happily at home, in both cases, in the hills above Elciego… and in the wine cellars of Hollywood.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MARQUÉS DE RISCAL