Is there an architect of the late 19th century how possesses a more distinctive and recognisable aesthetic? The history of the project is a long and interesting one. Gaudi first received the commission for this work in 1882, on the orders of his then patron, Eusebi Güell. Güell had taken in and been incredibly impressed by, examples of Gaudi's work at the famous Paris Expo of 1878, and upon falling in love with his style, commissioned a number of works from the architect including the Palau Güell, the Park Güell and the crypt of the Church of Colonia Güell located in Santa Coloma de Cervello. Many of the works commissioned by Güell are often regarded as some of the most charismatic and defining of Gaudi's distinguished career.
Though the initial commission was made up of the winery and various hunting pavilions to be dotted around it, the latter was never built. As you can imagine, changes and alterations to original commissions were very common at the time, just as they are to this day. The winery building complex was finally built between 1895 and 1897 under the direction and assistance of Gaudi's helper, Francesc Berenguer. As can be seen on any visit, the winery itself features a triangular frontal profile with almost vertical accompanying roofs. There are steep sloping stone slabs that help to add depth and drama, along with a finished set of chimneys and two doors to connect the complex to the older existing building.
At the time of the winery's completion, it was used by Count Güell as the purpose for which it was built. Güell produced wine in his complex that was served on the many ships of the Compania Transatlantica Española shipping line. His wines were also exported to Cuba for a short period of time. Production, however, was stopped in 1936 with lack of commercial success being cited as the main reason for the halt in winemaking.
In the current day, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that the buildings of the Bodegas Güell are still put to good use in the form of a modern restaurant. Much of the interior may have been updated to accommodate contemporary living and business, but the exterior of the complex still remains very much a celebration of the signature Gaudi tradition. It's fair to say that very few architects' work has ever been so immediately identifiable. A striking work of archetypal Catalan Modernism that thankfully still has a purpose in the thriving culture of 21st century Barcelona.