“This year, nature and man have combined to form a perfect relationship between vine and thought in the just proportions of elegance, power and complexity.” - Axel Heinz, Ornellaia Estate Director
BOLGHERI, Italy (PRWEB) February 08, 2023
Bolgheri wine estate Ornellaia is proud to reveal the latest vintage of Ornellaia Bolgheri Rosso Superiore DOC, a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The percentages of each variety vary from year to year, but every vintage speaks of the Ornellaia terroir as a single, unified voice. The 2020 vintage transmits the essence of each grape variety in a most perfect relationship; “La Proporzione” (Proportion) is the character chosen by Estate Director Axel Heinz to represent it.
The 2020 vintage was marked by contrast, with cold and rain alternating with extended hot and dry periods. The defining moment, after an almost perfect summer, came with the late September drop in temperatures, which produced a wine of finesse and aromatic richness. “Ornellaia 2020 is vibrant and well-structured,” says winemaker Olga Fusari. “It arcs through the palate with dense yet elegant tannins, leading into a persistent finish and lingering freshness.”
The vintage also marks the fifteenth edition of the Vendemmia d’Artista project, in which the unique character of the new vintage is celebrated through an artist’s interpretation. “This year,” says Heinz, “nature and man have combined to form a perfect relationship between vine and thought in the just proportions of elegance, power and complexity.” American artist Joseph Kosuth, one of conceptual art’s great practitioners and thinkers, was chosen to interpret this relationship. Interrogating its conventional techniques and definitions, it was the language of art that Kosuth focused on, aiming to present the complexity of cultural codes in visual form. He interprets the character of “La Proporzione” (Proportion) – which evokes the perfect balance between the sum and its parts – with a series of intellectually powerful works centered around the word “wine”.
Kosuth’s interpretation expresses itself through his design of the labels, both for the 750 ml bottle and for larger formats, and culminates in the site-specific artwork designed for the estate itself. Some of the larger, individualized bottles will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s online auction, to be held from September 7th to 21st, 2023 before becoming valued additions to the cellars of the winning collectors.
One artistic label designed by Kosuth can be found in each case of six 750ml bottles of Ornellaia 2020, “La Proporzione” (Proportion). This label is printed with a quotation, in English, from Roman Architect Vitruvius (De architectura 3.1.3)*, while the labels on the 100 Double Magnums show an etymological tree of the word wine. The 10 Imperials, no two of which are the same, have the same etymological chart etched onto the glass. Each Imperial shows a different branch of this tree highlighted in white, with Vitruvius’ quotation translated into that language or into one of its modern descendants: Albanian, Serbo-Croat, Latin, Italian, Hindi, Hebrew, Modern Greek, Irish, German and Armenian. On the unique Salmanazar, meanwhile, the highlighted branch and Vitruvius’ surrounding words are in English.
Speaking about his work on Ornellaia 2020, Kosuth said: “I think that language is an important part of the experience of everything, and those experiences are formed in a way linguistically. The architecture of the experience through language was of course always in play and I think that Vitruvius was a great source to understand a concept like proportion. Proportion is not only the balance of elements for the eye, but is also a balance of all the elements that make it an entity of perfection of what it means for the world, thus also forming it as a conception."
The Vendemmia d’Artista initiative was born in 2006, with the aim of supporting cultural projects. For the last five years, Ornellaia’s proceeds from the Sotheby’s auction have been donated exclusively to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s innovative “Mind's Eye” program, which allows blind and low vision people to access art.
Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, commented: “Thanks to Ornellaia’s continued support, we can keep expanding our Mind’s Eye program for a global audience, and keep developing the possibilities of experiencing art verbally in all our museums. We will produce content with multi-language translations for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, with a particular focus on Mind’s Eye content for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, while continuing with our events in New York and our online programs, which will be available across the globe. These projects will run into 2024, with a view to expanding the initiative and increasing our resources and our audience.”
Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Ornellaia, spoke with equal passion: “Today, at its 15th edition, we can proudly say that the Vendemmia d’Artista project has achieved worldwide recognition for its cultural and interdisciplinary importance. Through it, we manage to connect the diverse yet surprisingly similar worlds of art and wine, in a way that unites them both. We can count ourselves among the Guggenheim’s handful of global partners continuing to support their Mind’s Eye program. It’s a way of giving back to the community something of the immense gift that nature has given us.”
*The quotation from Vitruvius, taken from De architectura (3.1.3) thus inscribed on the Imperial bottles of Ornellaia 2020 is, in English: Proportion consists in taking a fixed module, in each case, both for the parts of a building and for the whole, by which the method of symmetry is put into practice.
The name ORNELLAIA is synonymous with fine winemaking and an authentic expression of the beauty of Tuscany. The estate is situated along the Tuscan coast, a short distance from the medieval town of Bolgheri and its iconic cypress-lined approach. Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Superiore and Ornellaia Bianco are the estate’s top wines, ensued by the second vin Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, Le Volte dell’Ornellaia and the white Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia. In just over thirty years (the first vintage of Ornellaia was in 1985), the team’s dedication, together with optimal geological characteristics and microclimate, has resulted in critical acclaim and public success within Italy and internationally.
About Vendemmia d’Artista
The Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project celebrates the exclusive character of every new vintage of Ornellaia. Every year, starting with the release of Ornellaia 2006 in May 2009, a contemporary artist crafts a site-specific artwork and a set of limited-edition labels, inspired by a word chosen by the Estate Director, Axel Heinz, to describe the personality of the new vintage.
A label styled by the artist features on one of the six 750ml bottles in every case of Ornellaia. As in previous years, the project includes a limited edition of 111 large-format bottles (100 Jeroboams - 3 liters, 10 Imperials - 6 liters, and 1 Salmanazar - 9 liters) which are numbered and signed personally by the artist. Every year, a selection of these bottles is auctioned by Sotheby’s and the profits go to support the Mind’s Eye program at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
About the “Mind’s Eye” program
The “Mind’s Eye” program, created by Guggenheim’s Education Department, assists visitors who are blind or have low vision in experiencing art by using all the senses. This approach promotes the development of creative impressions, emotional connections, and memories, whose perception endures over time. As in art, the appreciation of fine wine requires the involvement of all the senses. It was this shared idea that resulted in Ornellaia lending its support to develop this particular program. Donations collected through Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project enable the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to further the activities of the “Mind’s Eye” program aimed at distributing the model in other art institutions, ensuring that its excellence continues to guide the museum programming for the benefit of blind and persons with low vision all over the world.