The most beautiful wine bar

On the island of Pico, in the Azores archipelago, here is Cella, an amazing place to raise the glass.

Those who go to Pico know that it is one of the most beautiful islands of the Azores archipelago. In recent years, not only has the vineyard increased considerably but also very interesting projects have emerged in the area of rural tourism, modern accommodation or charm that leave anyone surprised. But what really leaves the visitor with his mouth open is to get to Magdalene, the Place of Barca, and to run into the Cella Bar. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful wine bar in Portugal – probably even in the world.

The idea was born in 2010 with Fábio Matos and Filipe Paulo, colleagues of the management course at the University of the Azores and natural stem, to whom he joined later Mauro Fernandez. Passionate about gastronomy and wine, they thought that there was a lack of a place where one could have a good drink, relax, taste a snack, listen to good music. They found the ideal place in a former warehouse abandoned by the sea, which was recovered with some support from the Regional Government. The architectural project is by Fernando Coelho and the decoration of Paulo Lobo (and sculptures by Paulo Neves). Today Cella is a must-see stop place, open since June 2015.

The wine list is varied, with all portuguese regions present, with some focus on Azoreans, who are now beginning to gain strength. Foreigners, just a few champagnes. The bar is divided over two floors. At the top you can dine, and it is possible to share snacks. Outside there is a terrace with a fantastic view of the sea. Downstairs is the bar itself, where acoustic concerts take place at the weekend.

The wooden structure coupled to the building was inspired by wine kites, the interior being also lined with wood. Whiteand blue, seatones that brighten the environment and refer to local traditions also predominate. For the future, the idea is to organize more activities – wine dinners and a tasting club. Seeing what you've done, you're on the right track.

Project team description:

The building is the result of a regenerative transformation and expansion of a small pre-existing structure, abandoned for many years. The walls, roof and doors have been restored, maintaining the essential characteristics of the original construction. The interior has been redesigned to serve its new functions (restaurant and bar), in order to be compatible with the legal requirements in force.

The new volume is a contemporary creation, with a different language. It is an organic and dynamic construction that contrasts with the orthogonal, classic language of the existing building where it clings.  The design is defined by its plasticity, both in terms of materials and at the formal level, and is markedly inspired by the natural environment around the site.

Several features of the environment are present in the architecture of the building, including the contour of the island, rocks, whales, as well as reference to wine barrels. The new volume acts as a giant sculpture, tailor-made for its location.

Photos (wonderful) by Fernando Guerra