Renowned Artist, John Armleder Interprets Ornellaia 2012 ‘L’Incanto’: An Enchanted World Which Enfolds the 7th Edition of the Vendemmia d’Artista Project

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Artist John Armleder has created special-edition labels that will adorn a limited number of Ornellaia 2012 bottles. Sotheby’s will preside over an auction of nine extremely rare lots during a Gala Dinner event at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, which will receive the proceeds.

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Today Vendemmia d’Artista reaches its 7th edition ... In six years, we have been successful in donating more than 1 million euros across the globe, but this is just a very small part of what we have committed to raising in the future.

Ornellaia, one of Italy’s iconic estates, is proud to announce the 7th edition of Vendemmia d’Artista, a project that showcases the marriage between the world of contemporary art and fine wine. Launched in 2009, Vendemmia d’Artista celebrates the unique character of each new vintage of the flagship wine, Ornellaia, by commissioning an artist of world fame to interpret a theme set by the estate and Vendemmia d’Artista art curators Bartolomeo Pietromarchi and Maria Alicata. This year, Ornellaia has selected Swiss artist John Armleder to capture the essence of Ornellaia 2012 ‘L’Incanto’ (The Enchantment).

On April 23, Ornellaia will be organizing an exclusive charity auction in Basel, Switzerland, which will include 9 special-edition bottles created by John Armleder for Ornellaia 2012 ‘L’Incanto’ Vendemmia d’Artista. The auction will take place as part of a gala dinner, during which Sotheby’s Senior Director and Head of European Wine Department, Stephen Mould, will oversee the bidding, with all proceeds donated to the Fondation Beyeler, the host of this year’s event.

To interpret the unique character of ‘L’Incanto’ for Ornellaia 2012, Swiss artist John Armleder has also been commissioned to create a site-specific artwork for the Ornellaia estate and an extremely exclusive series of 111 bottle labels, individually signed, consisting of: 100 3-liter double-Magnums, 10 6-liter Imperials, and a unique 9-litre Salmanazar. In addition, the artist has created a special label for an individual 750-ml bottle of Ornellaia that will be included in every 6-bottle wood box of the 2012 vintage, a first for the project.

“When I tasted Ornellaia 2012 for the first time, I was immediately transported to a world of dreams,” stated John Armleder, “It was unexpected and surprising; a moment that can never be repeated. The image represents the surprise and pleasure I felt, and I want people to experience that feeling for themselves. When they discover the label for the first time that unique experience will become their own.”

The Vendemmia d’Artista project has raised more than 1 million euros since its launch, with proceeds donated to arts organizations and foundations across the globe, including the Whitney Museum in New York, Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Royal Opera House in London, and H2 Foundation in Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan and AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto.

“Today Vendemmia d’Artista reaches its 7th edition,” stated Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Ornellaia, “and its proceeds will continue to go towards the restoration of artworks that are part of our international heritage. In six years, we have been successful in donating more than 1 million euros across the globe, but this is just a very small part of what we have committed to raising in the future.”

“Ornellaia 2012 provides an immediate sensation of pleasure that is both charming and engaging,” explained Axel Heinz, Ornellaia Estate Director and Winemaker. “Straight away you can appreciate its deep ruby color and warmth, as well as its bouquet of rich fruit and spice. The palate is well-rounded, full, and generous, with glossy tannins and a velvety texture. It has all the luxuriance that distinguishes Ornellaia’s great vintages, but it conceals this richness behind an expansive and magnificent structure which concludes in a long-lasting finish.” Heinz continues: “The 2012 growing season was characterized by an abundance of sunny, dry weather with some rain just before the harvest. The result was an even, consistent ripening that in the end yielded this generous, full-bodied wine that is remarkably appealing and seductive. This is why we chose the word ‘L’Incanto’ (The Enchantment) to describe this vintage of Ornellaia.”

About John Armleder
John Armleder, born in 1948, lives between Geneva and New York; he is recognized as one of Switzerland’s most outstanding and influential artists of his generation. With his unique personal style, he has created over the years a universe of eclectic pieces that range through pictorial, sculpture, and performance art. Fundamental to his artistic vision is his analysis of the context in which a particular piece will be exhibited, which thus assumes a central role in the creative process.

About Ornellaia –
Ornellaia’s philosophy considers the birth of the wines to be the truest expression of their terroir. The grapes for Ornellaia are selected by hand, and picked in the estate's vineyards in Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast. The varying natures of the estate's terroirs, marine, alluvial and volcanic, are ideal for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Estate extends over 97 hectares along the Tuscan coast, just a short distance from the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri and the famed cypress-lined avenue ‘Viale dei Cipressi’. The constant work of the Ornellaia team and the ideal microclimatic and geological characteristics have brought the wines great international success in just twenty years since the first vintage of Ornellaia in 1985. In 2001, the 1998 Ornellaia was declared Wine of the Year by the American journal Wine Spectator. In 2011 the German publication Der Feinschmecker awarded Ornellaia its most sought-after award, the ‘Weinlegende’. Ornellaia has received considerable recognition in the national and international press, and is consistently ranked among the top estates by Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, James Suckling, Antonio Galloni, Bruce Sanderson and the Italian Wine Guides: Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Veronelli, Duemilavini AIS, and Luca Maroni.

About Folio Fine Wine Partners –
Folio Fine Wine Partners was founded in 2004 by Michael Mondavi and his wife, Isabel, with their children, Dina and Rob Jr. Folio is an importer, fine wine agency and producer of quality wines from the world's premiere and emerging wine regions, providing sales, marketing and public relations services to wine brands from California, Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain and Argentina. Wines from California include Animo, Emblem, Hangtime, Isabel Mondavi, M by Michael Mondavi, Oberon and Spellbound. From Italy, are the wines of Arnaldo Caprai, Attems, Bruno Giacosa, Coppo, Dal Forno Romano, Danzante, Donnafugata, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, Luce della Vite, Masseto, Ornellaia, Quorum, and Villa Sandi. The Spanish portfolio includes Artadi, Capafons-Ossó, Fillaboa, Leda, Nita, Palacios Remondo and Vall Llach. From Argentina are the wines of Ben Marco, Crios, Nosotros and Susana Balbo, with Laurenz V (Austria), and Prinz von Hessen (Germany) completing the portfolio.

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Paul Yanon

Margot Dempsey