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Ruta Enoturística de la Comarca en El Puerto de Santa María

Structure of the Vineyard Houses

Functionality as the origin of tradition

It is logical to suppose that the structures of buildings, especially those related to a productive activity, have a functional purpose, followed by comfort and finally aesthetics. But this circumstance in the world of vines and wine also generates a differentiating cultural heritage by giving rise to local vocabulary, customs and traditions which, in some cases, physically endure over time and others, unknowingly, coexist with their inhabitants without them knowing their origin

Vineyard houses have had various functions over time: 

  • Organisational centre for vine growing and grape harvesting
  • Winemaking centre, i.e. wine-making by treading the grapes
  • Must storage cellar and, in some cases, wine ageing cellar
  • Usual residence of the landlord or foreman and his family, temporary dwelling of day labourers and occasional residence of large landowners (for recreation, protection from epidemics...).

The outbuildings of the large vineyard houses are:

  • Almijar: terrace in front of the façade. It is a place for various tasks and for the drying of grapes.
  • Entrance: covered gallery open to the almijar, consisting of an archway on marble columns or pillars. Transit, work and rest area. 
  • Winepressing shed: enclosure used for treading grapes.
  • Pot: for the production of grape syrup (boiled grape juice)
  • Cellar: to store the wine until it is sold, in the case of vines owned by harvesters.
  • Stable and hayloft above the cellar. 
  • Fogarín: room with a hearth on the floor, around which the labourers gathered on cold nights. In some houses it was also used as a bedroom.
  • People's house: dormitory for day labourers. 
  • House of the foreman or landlord and the harvester. 
  • Chapel.
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