The pisé winery

One of the most interesting challenges we faced during La Raia’s renovation was the building of the winery, whose façade is a pisé (rammed earth) wall, according to Novi Ligure’s tradition.

A old and new materials’ winery

Built according to the most advanced technological criteria, La Raia’s cellar distinguishes for a surprising structure. The architectural elements which distinguish it are a huge crystal façade housing the stainless steel tanks, and the rammed clay wall, built according to the ancient and sustainable pisé building technique.

To reduce the wall impact in the landscape, it had to appear as if naturally obtained by cutting the hill and merging with it, creating a belonging idea. The use of rammed earth, following the technique developed by Austrian artist and architect Martin Rauch, seemed like the best solution both for its materiality and its clear stratigraphic evident appearance.

The part of the hill that was taken away has become the matrix for the new façade. The wall was built using soil coming from excavation and the fields around the estate. It was then batched and mixed up according to grain, colour and consistency. This has been Martin Rauch’s ability: he looked for the most suitable resources directly on site and created a highly organic product as a result.

La Raia farm and its winery are part of the land of Piedmont, a region in which building history is connected to rammed earth. In the Novi district indeed, several houses were built using clay pressed into wooden moulds. In the last years however this building tradition has been lost.

In Northern Europe instead, numerous contemporary architectures such as museums and congress centres show extraordinary clay walls. In our opinion, the most interesting aspect of recovering a disused technique has been to bring it back in an absolutely contemporary, not nostalgic way. We immediately believed in the choice of rammed earth and we are so happy with the result that the most prestigious Gavi of our collection is called Gavi Pisé.