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'Crazy' makes the cash register ring
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McLaren Vale is leading the way in learning how Europe's most successful tourist attractions draw in record crowds.
To find Europe's craziest and most colourful wineries head to the Rioja region of northern Spain. Here you'll find a dozen of the most bizarre and outlandish buildings on the planet. Possibly the craziest of them all, the Marquis de Riscal in the town of Elciego. Designed by maverick octogenarian US Architect Frank Gehry the winery/hotel has a ribbon like facade using titanium sheets of pink, silver, and gold. Gehry was 77 when the building was completed.
Unorthodox designs like Gehry's have a proven beneficial economic effect on the local economy. His flamboyant design for the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao Spain attracted such huge numbers of visitors that in the 3 years following its opening the local government raised $140 million in taxes, enough to pay for the entire building and have something left over.
D'Arenberg Cube – McLaren Vale
Australia it seems, is not about to let the Spaniards go unchallenged. Australia's entry in the unorthodox winery stakes is now nearing completion in McLaren Vale, South Australia.
The controversial d'Arenberg Cube is a daring innovation expected to attract huge numbers of visitors to the McLaren Vale area. Costing some $14 million the building incorporates a new tasting room, several bars, a restaurant, and private tasting areas. The cube which is due for completion later this year has its own website, and you can follow it's construction progress at www.darenberg.com.au/cube
McLaren Vale Resort & Spa
With visitor numbers certain to increase, McLaren Vale's accommodation will struggle to cope. Fortunately, within the not too distant future commencement of construction for the McLaren Vale Resort & Spa is expected. Within sight of the d'Arenberg Cube, this exciting development continues the unorthodox trend.
Designed by multi award winning architectural firm Studio 9, it is situated on a landmark site with panoramic views over the Southern Vales wine region. It will provide accommodation for almost 200 guests depending on final fitout, and a restaurant/function centre accommodating 140 people seated at tables, or 300 standing. Like the d'Arenberg Cube it also has its own website – to find out more visit www.mclarenvaleresort.com.au