Wine & Architecture: a visit to the Carapace of Tenuta Castelbuono


The fusion of two of the most distinctive marks of italianness, wine and architecture, has for me a remarkable charm. After visiting the splendid Cantina Antinori in Tuscany, I started searching for Italian wineries with architecture as noteworthy as the wine. Then, I found a very particular winery in Umbria region, the Tenuta Castelbuono, better known as the Carapace.

Designed by the Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, this winery is located in Bevagna (PG), and it is famous for its peculiar turtle shaped structure, entirely covered in  brass.

The Carapace project

The idea of the Carapace sculpture-winery comes from the Lunelli family’s friendship with Arnaldo Pomodoro and their wish of realizing a treasure chest for wine. While the aesthetic design was conceived by the sculptor, the development of the technical aspects of the building were commissioned to the Italian architect Giorgio Pedrotti.

Despite most pictures depict the Carapace in a bright coppery red, the natural oxidation process of metal has made it turn black-ish, and as the years go by its color will change to copper green and perfectly blend into the surrounding landscape. The roundish shape of the dome not only intends to imitate the hilly countryside where it stands, but wants to be associated with the shell of a tortoise, the animal who has the same 4 qualities as the Sagrantino wine: Longevity, Sacrality, Slowness, Power.

carapace winery

Tenuta Castelbuono tour

Upon entering the Carapace, Pomodoro’s style is immediately recognisable, giving the feeling of setting foot inside one of his sculptures. The visit starts with a guided tour of the winery, where visitors are introduced to the sculptor’s project, the history of Lunelli family, and the vinification practices and aging, and ends in the tasting area to sample some of the winery’s signature wines:

  • Lampante” Montefalco rosso riserva DOC
  • Ziggurat” Montefalco rosso DOC
  • Carapace” Montefalco sagrantino DOCG

Prices vary according to quality and quantity of the wines you want to include in your tasting:

•          15 euros: guided tour and wine tasting of two wines from Umbria.

•          20 euros: guided tour and wine tasting of two wines from Umbria; a wine from Trentino, and a wine from Tuscany.

•          25 euros: guided tour and wine tasting of four wines from Umbria.


Vocabolo Castellaccio, 9, 06031 Bevagna PG

Check the official website for further informations.  

sagrantino wine

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