ROME (Reuters) – Italian vineyards long ago turned their dank cellars into germ-free high tech vaults, but to compete on the wine tasting circuit they are now hiring world renowned architects to design avant-garde wineries.

“Nowadays producing good wine is not enough,” says Lea Fiorentini, an oenologist with Tuscany’s Rocca di Frassinello, which is one of largest wineries in Europe. Rocca di Frassinello will unveil new premises in June designed by architect Renzo Piano, one of the creators of the Pompidou Center in Paris. It was commissioned by French winemaker Baron de Rothschild and Italian media tycoon Paolo Panerai.

“We hope the new complex, that includes an inverted open pyramid for aging the wine, a restaurant and an auditorium for public events, will be a strong communication and marketing move,” Fiorentini told Reuters.

Rocca Di Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia 2004
Rocca Di Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia 2004IGT Maremma Toscana
Grapes: 15% Sangioveto, 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vinification in stainless steel. Aged for 6 months in steel and bottle.

Notes: This is their entry level wine, but still a wine of outstanding personality.
Deep ruby red in color, with pleasant notes of cassis and lots of fruit flavors. Spicy but very drinkable, with a medium body, lively tannins and a light finish. It is the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of pasta and white meat dishes.

Regular Price: $18.99 | Sale Price: $15.19
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Rocca Di Frassinello Le Sughere 2004
Rocca Di Frassinello Le Sughere 2004IGT Maremma Toscana
Grapes: 50% Sangioveto, 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vinification in steel. Aged for 12 months in barriques (50% new)

Tasting notes: A wine of great character. Deep ruby red in color, with good berry fruit and floral notes, hints of minerals, and nice elegant spicy tones. Medium-bodied, with fine, velvety tannins and a medium to-long finish. Wine suitable for ageing, but so very pleasant due to the soft tannins that it can also be drunk young. It pairs well with all red meat dishes and mature cheeses.

Regular Price: $31.99 | Sale Price: $26.39
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Rocca Di Frassinello 2004
Rocca Di Frassinello 2004IGT Maremma Toscana
Grapes: 60% Sangioveto, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vinification: In steel. Aged for 14 months in new barriques

Tasting notes: The top label, le grand vin of the French-Italian project. Intense ruby red, soft, silky with lots of floral flavors (typical of Sangiovese), nice hints of red berries and cherries and elegant notes of vanilla and milk chocolate. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a round, medium finish. It pairs well with all red meat dishes and mature cheeses.

Regular Price: $59.99 | Sale Price: $47.99
Click to buy Rocca Di Frassinello 2004