Fielding Estate Winery

Beamsville, Ontario

Fielding Estate Winery is a small family-run company producing limited-batch wines through traditional methods. Located on an 18-acre vineyard atop the Niagara Escarpment in Beamsville, Ontario, the building is sited in order to maximize the amount of arable vineyard while optimizing visitors’ views across the landscape.

Two distinct program elements—a production component and a retail aspect—result in a design solution of ultimate clarity and elegant simplicity: a single long shed beneath an open gabled roof. The retail component overlooks the production areas on the ground floor, visually and spatially integrating purchasing with the winemaking process. The shed form speaks to the family’s agricultural background and their interest in southern Ontario vernacular architecture.

A simple, honest material palette of concrete, steel, wood and stone reflects the bucolic environment: partially embedded in a gentle grassy slope against a copse of trees, the elongated building offers a pleasing elevation of concrete and cedar. Along with a single stone fireplace, aluminum windows and a standing-seam metal roof complete the exterior expression.

Textural contrasts continue in the interior, largely defined by a structural system of steel columns and intricately detailed black spruce glulam trusses. An abundance of natural light is provided through generous skylighting and long horizontal slot windows positioned to capture views of the vineyard’s neat rows—an intimate connection to the unique terroir of the Niagara Region.

The design introduces several sustainable features: a gravity-fed septic system and filter treatment bed, operable high-performance windows, and a central skylight with operable roof vents allowing natural daylighting, passive ventilation and cooling. A permeable granular drive and a storm-water retention pond reduce surface water runoff.

photo: Tom Arban