Until recently, those in the market for port, Madeira, muscat, or vinho verde had to use a computer to visit Portugal Vineyards, a seven-year-old online company specializing in Portuguese wines and spirits. But with the help of Ricardo Porto Ferreira, director of Porto Architects, the independent merchant has opened its first bricks-and-mortar shop, fittingly in Porto.
Adjacent to the Portugal Vineyards headquarters, the 970-square-foot retail space accommodates approximately 600 bottles as well as a few chairs and tables for tastings. “The scale worked to our advantage,” Porto Ferreira recalls. “All the bottles feel like they’re in reach.” In fact, the shape of the wine bottle itself inspired the shop’s fluid, circular plan. Furthermore, the engineered-wood display shelves are tiered in a manner that references the terraced hillsides of Portuguese vineyards—and bottles are simply lined up along them, allowing staff the flexibility to easily re-arrange vintages based on season, trends, or styles.
As for the bright white of the store’s envelope—the gypsum ceiling and walls and concrete floor are all color-matched—it was chosen for its purity and neutrality, helping to accentuate the subtle shade variations in the alcohol. “Color is an element of the wine-tasting process,” Ferreira continues. “It made sense to apply that to our concept.”
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> See more from the February 2020 issue of Interior Design