Vineyards once had no more significance in the rural landscape than the dense rows of orchards. To passing city-dwellers, they were as out of bounds as any other agribusiness. But that was before wine became big business, and before wineries were developed to market the wines.
Dressed up as handsome vernacular farm buildings, wineries are now picturesquely sited overlooking hillsides radiating with vines. The passing public is invited in - lured by tours and tastings, three-star restaurants and shaded picnic tables - to sample and to buy wines authenticated by the romantic rustic setting where they were produced.
The Yarra Valley, not far from Melbourne, is an area famed for its wines.
Domaine Chandon vineyard is built around an existing Victorian farmhouse - remaining from the days when the estate was a dairy farm - with a new winemaking facility and restaurant designed by Allen Jack + Cottier.
Tract designed the landscape masterplan for the 160-hectare estate. It is an excellent example of what site planning can achieve. The landscape design is based on experiencing the estate.
A large car park has been sunk below the ridge, preserving the landform. An existing pine and cypress shelter belt is extended into the landscape, and three large oaks are featured within a central grass courtyard space, framing and focusing the distant views. Now more than ten years old, this landscape is now fulfilling its vision and design intent.