The ‘Bodega Cooperativa’ is a project led by Cèsar Martinell. It was commissioned by the farmers’ union and the rural fund of San Medí -an association that brings together a large part of the local peasantry that works for the production, conservation and marketing of wine.
The modernist-inspired building consists of a set of parabolic arches built with visible red bricks that support a roof made of Catalan vaults tensioned by iron struts. This building housed the grape unloading docks as well as the machinery for pre-processing grape and wort. Inside, part of the machinery and wine press that were used have been preserved. In the 1940s, a substantial increase in production has led to the expansion of the infrastructure. Activity in the cooperative started to recede in the 1960s until production came to a complete halt in the late 1980s. Today, the building has been renovated and transformed into a museum.
Built in 1921 by the Sant Cugat wine cooperative, a permanent exhibition displays the winemaking processes and the shift of Sant Cugat from an agricultural village to a service-oriented city.
At the beginning, things were tough. The economic difficulties compromised Martinell’s project and only part of it came to life. The rest was built later on without respecting the original intent. Nevertheless, the cooperative kick-started and produced wine for decades. It even became a reference for the local peasantry, already known as ‘Cooperativa Vitivinícola de Sant Cugat’.
After the golden decade of the 1950s, when peak production was attained, activity gradually began to decline. The crisis in the sector had a very detrimental impact on local activity, but above all, the rural Sant Cugat, with farmers in the field, was already shifting towards an urban city.
The last winemaking operation took place in 1988. In the following years, other agricultural services gradually ceased. Around 1994, the auxiliary buildings along with the maturation storehouse began to be demolished, to make way for a new urban complex. The winery was donated to the city by the cooperative.
Today it has been rehabilitated and turned into a museum. It is part of the museums of Sant Cugat network.
Photography: Manè Espinosa / Sant Cugat del Vallès
Sant Cugat del Vallès
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