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Ornellaia Beautifully Blends Wine and Art

Ornellaia 2019 Il Vigore Case

Photo courtesy of Ornellaia

Italy’s ICONIC Ornellaia passionately fuses wine, art and philanthropy.

Consistently ranked as one of the world’s top wine estates, Ornellaia is so much more than its delicious and collectible wine. As a member of Italy’s Altagamma Foundation, the ICONIC Frescobaldi Family brand is recognized globally as an authentic ambassador of Italian style, representing what Italian luxury goods are all about—excellence, an intrinsic value of tradition, history, craftsmanship, sustainability and quality. 

The mere mention of the name Ornellaia is enough to make wine aficionados swoon. And since the introduction of its unique Vendemmia d’Artista program, Ornellaia gives art lovers equal reason to eagerly anticipate each vintage. 

Each year, starting with the release of Ornellaia 2006 in May 2009, a contemporary artist is selected to craft a site-specific artwork and a set of limited-edition bottles inspired by the “personality” of each new vintage, as determined by Ornellaia estate director Axel Heinz. For this year’s 2019 vintage, Heinz’s chosen personality is “Il Vigore.”

“Il Vigore is the strength of the healthy growth of the vines,” says Heinz. “It is the active vigor of mind and body. It is the character of a wine that captivates the senses and projects the flavor into a natural landscape of energy, power, strength, and vitality. The flavors, aromatic nuances, and the body of the wine transport it into a spiritual dimension, where the power of nature is central to the experience.”

This power of nature is conceptualized within artists Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s bottle-draping artwork, which they based on the theme of metamorphosis, the cycles of nature and its transformation, as well as the relationship between humans and the earth.

"The flavors, aromatic nuances, and the body of the wine transport it into a spiritual dimension, where the power of nature is central to the experience."

As described by the duo, the finger depicted on the 750ml label leaves a print on the earth and is a representation of the wine, which sparks curiosity and a desire to reveal itself gradually before leaving a tangible impression in a lingering tasting experience. In the glass, connoisseurs discover the energy that nature gives to plants and humans, but in particular to the region that expresses itself as lifeblood: the lifeblood of “Il Vigore.”

A label styled by the artists 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 artists.

Some of these exquisite bottles will be sold during a Sotheby’s online auction scheduled before being delivered to lucky collectors. Since 2019, Ornellaia’s Vendemmia d’Artista profits—more than $2 million—have been donated to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to support the innovative Mind’s Eye program, which assists blind and low vision visitors in experiencing art. 

“Ornellaia’s generosity has provided for the expansion of Mind’s Eye, connecting participants across the globe through virtual programs,” says Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. 

“We are grateful for the ongoing support of Ornellaia.”

In the United States, Ornellaia is imported by Vintus and can be found in both restaurants and top wine shops, as well as at Wine.com

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