Belgian artist Jan Fabre chose the project; the red coral is used for the artist’s interpretation of the character of antiquity.
New York, NY, February 11, 2021 – Ornellaia, one of the world’s most emblematic wineries, is pleased to reveal the unique character of Ornellaia 2018 and announce the artist selected to interpret this character as part of the 13th edition of the Vendemmia d’Artista de la cave project.
“The 2018 vintage has produced wines of extraordinary harmony,” said Axel Heinz, director of Bolsheri Winery. “The synergy and interaction of the different terroirs on the estate have created proportion and complexity. The result is a round and silky wine in which all the elements come together in an expression of grace and beauty. In homage to this sense of proportion and symmetry, Axel Heinz has named the character of the 2018 Ornella “La Grazia.”
Belgian artist Jan Fabre, in his role as an eclectic and innovative figure on the international art scene, is asked to interpret this characteristic. Always looking for convergence between different disciplines, Fabre offers an original and personal interpretation of the visual arts, drawing on theater, literature and the world of symbolism.
The 2018 Ornellaia “La Grazia” is the expression of a perfectly balanced vintage. After an exceptionally hot and dry season, the land finally received the rain and winter chill it needed to rest and restart the life cycle of the vines. Spring brought occasional showers that renewed the vineyard’s protective layer, while summer was dry, promoting fruit set, and the season culminated in a serving of bright, sunny days at the end of July. Healthy grapes with an excellent balance of acidity and sugar were harvested between August 31 and October 8.
Inspired by Ornella 2018 “La Grazia” as a “divine gift of nature and the balance of symmetry and proportion,” Jan Fabre used his signature and coral, the precious golden red of the Bay of Naples, for the sculptures leading three Salmanazare (9 liters): the Candle of Mercy, the Crown of Kindness and the Heart of Virtue. “I believe that art should reconcile ethical values and aesthetic principles,” explains the Belgian artist. “That is why I decided to use forms such as the heart, crown, candle and wings in the sculptures for Ornellaia 2018. They are symbols of passion, virtue and purity, animated by branches and red coral beads; in “Candle of Mercy” or “Heart of Virtue” they become liquid like the melting grace of Ornellaia wine.
In addition to the coral artwork for the 111 precious Ornellaia large format bottles, Jan Fabre designed a special label for the 750 ml bottles and a special installation for the Orciaia cellar dining room: a series of drawings inspired by sculptures and their symbolism.
Of the other large formats, only one of Ornella’s three 2018 La Grazia Salmanazars, the Crown of Kindness, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in September 2021. Collectors from around the world can bid on lots online, and their purchases will be delivered directly from the expressive Bolshevik vineyard.
For the third consecutive year, the prize will be awarded to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s “Eye of the Mind” project.
Jamie Ritchie, Global Head of Wine at Sotheby’s Wine, said, “This is our 13th partnership with Ornellaia for their annual Vendemmia d’Artista project, which is so special to us because it supports a worthy artistic cause and combines the genius of the estate’s wines with the visual ingenuity of the participating artists. The Mind’s Eye project, which focuses on the senses, has been the ideal beneficiary for the past three years. We look forward to offering a selection of La Grazia’s 2018 vintage bottles, illustrated by Jan Fabre, in our online sale later this year, as always led by a unique Salmanazar. As in previous years, we expect the lots to attract an international group of bidders eager to acquire these exclusive bottles and enjoy a unique experience.”
Vendemmia d’Artista proceeds allow the Mind’s Eye program to grow, both on-site at the Guggenheim and online, so that its excellence continues to drive museum programs in different parts of the world.
“With Ornellaia’s continued support, the Guggenheim is able to expand the reach and resonance of our Mind’s Eye program,” said Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “Ornellaia has helped us stay connected to our visitors by expanding access programs and creating a new digital sensory guide that shares the museum experience with a growing global audience. We speak for the many beneficiaries of Ornellaia’s generosity when we express our sincere gratitude.”
Giovanni Geddes da Filicagia, CEO of the Bolgheri winery, says: “Since the launch of the Vendemmia d’Artista project in 2009, we have donated more than 2 million euros. It is very gratifying to see how the program has developed and to know that the work we do enables blind and visually impaired people to discover contemporary art through the senses.” At the same time, the Mind’s Eye program will soon offer the opportunity to expand this model not only to other Guggenheim Foundation museums, but also to art institutions around the world, making art accessible to more people.
About Ornellaia – http://www.ornellaia.com
Ornellaia’s philosophy is that the creation of its wines is the most faithful expression of their terroir. The grapes for Ornellaia are hand-picked and harvested in the estate’s vineyards in Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast. The diversity of the estate’s terroirs – maritime, alluvial and volcanic – is ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The estate covers 115 hectares on the Tuscan coast, near the medieval village of Bolgheri and the famous cypress-lined Viale dei Cipressi. The constant work of the Ornellaia team and the ideal microclimatic and geological characteristics have brought the wines much success internationally since Ornellaia’s first vintage in 1985. In 2001, the 1998 wine was named “Wine of the Year” by the American magazine “Wine Spectator”. In 2011, the German publication “Der Feinschmecker” awarded Ornellaia its most coveted award, the “Wine Legend.” Ornellaia has received much recognition in the national and international press and is regularly ranked among the best wineries by Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, James Suckling, Antonio Galloni, Bruce Sanderson and the Italian wine guides: Gambero Rosso, Espresso and Veronelli.
About Vendemia d’Artista
Artista’s Ornellaia Vendemmia project celebrates the exclusivity of each new Ornellaia vintage. Each year, beginning with the release of the 2006 Ornellaia in May 2009, a contemporary artist creates an artwork specific to the region and a series of limited edition labels inspired by a word chosen by the Manor’s director, Axel Heinz, to describe the identity of the new vintage.
The artist-inspired label is affixed to one of the six 750 ml bottles in each case of Ornellaia. As in previous years, the project includes a limited edition of 111 large format bottles (100 Jeroboam – 3 liters, 10 Imperial – 6 liters and 1 Salmanazar – 9 liters), numbered and personally signed by the artist. Each year a selection of these bottles is auctioned at Sotheby’s, with proceeds going to the Mind’s Eye program of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
About the Mind’s Eye program…
The Mind’s Eye program of the Guggenheim’s education department helps blind and visually impaired visitors experience art with all their senses. This approach promotes creative experiences, emotional connections and memories that are perceived over time. As with art, tasting good wines should involve all the senses. It is this general idea that led Ornellaia to support the development of this particular program. The funds raised through Artista’s Ornellaia Vendemmia will enable the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to expand the program activities of Eye of the Mind and to apply the model in other art institutions so that its excellence continues to guide museum programs serving the blind and visually impaired throughout the world.
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