The oenological station

We would like you to discover more about the oenological station - a very important slice of history found in Felanitx

Since the beginning of the 20th century, there have been two unique buildings in Felanitx protecting the memory of wine in the region. On one hand, the powerful structure of the Celler Cooperatiu and the tragedy of its current situation. On the other, the oenological Station. Both make up the still photo of the viticultural history of that period. In both cases, today they no longer serve the purpose for which they were created. While the magnificent headquarters building of the Sindicat, designed by the architect Guillem Forteza on the hill that overlooks Felanitx, awaits a project to rescue it from oblivion, the Oenological Station, by the engineer Antoni Ballester, has experienced a different fate. Since its construction in 1913, the building, whose main entrance opens onto Paseo Ramon Llull, has experienced a century of different phases determining its history, from the original project dedicated to scientific, pedagogical and informative activities, until the present, when it has been partially re-used to host different public services.

Just as the longest day must have an end, the City Council has placed in the hands Pla i Llevant PDO one of the outbuildings that required some attention: a lateral façade. That is how the old porter’s house has been transformed into the new headquarters of the Regulatory Board. The rehabilitation works for a section of the building that in its day was conceived as an auxiliary space are giving shape to future structures. The AULETS architecture studio that is managing the project faces some limitations that affect how it approaches the work: the structure of the old building that must be used, the very tight budget that has been dedicated to the work and time, which is hard on the heels of the technical team. The rehabilitation is very respectful of the original construction. The exterior facade and the interior layout are therefore maintained in almost every original detail. Only the modernization and accessibility features required for its new use are added. The staircase is completed with a lift to access the upper floor where the auditorium and a meeting room will be located. The offices and a tastings area are to be located below, at street level. The intention is to work with the original materials used: stone, lime mortar, iron and concrete.
That is why industrialists from the region have been involved in the reconstruction work: in order to reproduce the building’s original concept and materials as much as possible. There is another criterion guiding the project and it is sustainability: materials and technical approaches that reduce energy consumption and the use, where possible, of materials that do not contain petroleum products. When D.O. Pla i Llevant moves to its new headquarters within a few months, it should commemorate the “fathers” of that building, of the old Oenological Station: Antoni Ballester, and the agricultural engineer who did almost everything for the wine sector of the region at the beginning of the 20th century and who ran the station from 1913: Ernest Mestre Artigues, don Arnesto. This is how the institution that was decisive at the beginning of the recovery of Felanitx’ vineyard and wines and the town’s economy now has a connection through which to ensure continuity and recover part of its lost dignity thanks to the initiative that allows it to welcome again an institution linked to wine: the headquarters of the Regulatory Board of the Pla i Llevant PDO.