Described by its owner, Rhonda Lloyd as a hidden treasure nestled amongst the rugged Bannockburn landscape, the doors of Te Kano’s cellar door are now open; a place where guests can enjoy the company’s estate wines while experiencing the building’s dramatic architecture and distinctive Central Otago setting.

Lloyd engaged local architects Mason & Wales to realise her vision for a modern yet beautiful cellar door. “Mason & Wales illustrated a genuine appreciation and respect for the region and its environment, which was crucial to the success of the project,” explained Lloyd.

The cellar door makes a strong architectural statement, with the modern corten clad structure rooted in the upper terrace vines and cantilevered out over the lower vineyard, framing stunning views of the Kawarau River and the surrounding hills and valleys of the desert-like terrain.

“The architectural design needed to relate to the local environment and the structural parameters while representing the identity of the brand and connecting with the surrounding landscape,” noted Mason & Wales architect director Hamish Muir.

The architectural design needed to be consistent with the quality of the Te Kano brand. Locally-sourced materials have been crafted with considered and contemporary detailing, which is representative of the wider approach that Te Kano takes in all aspects of its business.

Visitors are welcomed by a new entry at 92 Felton Road, winding through the working vineyard to the new building sitting on the edge of the terrace. The entry door of the tasting room leads through to an intimate lounge with walls and ceiling clad in timber.

The heartbeat of the Te Kano brand, the Kowhai, is not only reflected on the winery’s labels but in subtle details of the tasting room space from the colours of the interior to the contemporary New Zealand art handpicked from the family’s personal collection. Flowering Kowhai can be seen in works by photographer Fiona Pardington and sculptor Paul Dibble. Other works including those of Yuki Kihara can also be found in the building.

Lloyd concluded that maintaining a symbiotic relationship with the land is at the core of the business. “We hope the cellar door will be a special place for our guests to relax and enjoy our wines. It’s the heartbeat of our business, a place we not only welcome visitors to experience Te Kano, but to also celebrate this extraordinary land in Central Otago.”

Te Kano’s cellar door is open Wednesday to Sunday 11am-5pm. From April, it will be open seven days a week, also offering platters for guests to enjoy from local Central Otago artisan producers

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