Apollo’s innovation and dedicated work ethic saw one of Marlborough’s oldest wineries reach new heights in 2022. Cloudy Bay approached Apollo Projects in 2021 with an ambitious plan to build a new tank farm and receivals building to process its harvest.
The winery wanted something that would complement its carefully crafted vineyard aesthetics, while not compromising on functionality and durability. What eventuated was a new build that would change the way people think about winemaking in Marlborough.
Incorporating the winery’s existing receival bins, the team was required to build a tank farm and receivals building, complete with a press bay and two new tanks. Apollo worked with Cloudy Bay to go beyond traditional designs, so that better health, safety and efficiencies could be achieved.
Sitting around the table with Cloudy Bay, our team suggested an unheard-of concept for a winery project of this nature: why not build underground? What seemed to be a novel idea at the time ended up becoming a creative solution that has played a big role in helping Cloudy Bay to operate more efficiently.
One of our first tasks was digging underground to create space for the hopper bin, de-stemmer and must pump. The must pump pushes the grapes into the press, which is located almost four metres above ground.
The structure was made using pre-cast concrete slabs, as well as service pipes and a structural pipe bridge to carry reticulated services. A single structural steel canopy provides a walkway between the two large tanks.
A real win for the project was using ‘smart’ tanks that eliminated the need for catwalks. It means a single person can control the whole receival and fermenting process, which is an entirely new way of winemaking in the region. There is less working from height, and even less manual labour involved.
Built to high wind and earthquake standards, we constructed the new facility to provide a durable and reliable future for Cloudy Bay. All of this was achieved in an incredibly tight construction period of just four months, which was also impacted by COVID restrictions and a record-setting wet season.