Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno, known for his interactive installations that allude to new sustainable ways of living on our planet in this age of ecological turmoil, was selected to produce the special edition of site-specific artwork and a set of limited-edition labels for the 12th edition of the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2017. The vintage was named ‘Solare’ – translated in English as Radiant – inspired by the word chosen by the estate director, Axel Heinz, to describe the personality of the new vintage.
Every year, since the release of Ornellaia 2006 in May 2009, a contemporary artist celebrates the exclusive character of the new vintage of Ornellaia through the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project. Saraceno sought inspiration in the alliance between the Sun and populated systems of life depicting the various phases of a solar eclipse. A concept illustrated in the sculpture, ‘PNEUMA 4.21×105’, which crowns the 9-litre Salmanazar.
The artist has personalized a total of 111 large-format bottles (100 Jeroboams – 3 litres, 10 Imperials – 6 litres and 1 Salmanazar – 9 litres) which are signed and numbered by the artist, plus a special label in every box containing six 750ml bottles of Ornellaia. All the labels are thermo-chromic and change colour with the heat of one’s hand, inviting reflection about the impact of humanity on the planet. In addition a site-specific installation on the Bolghieri estate, consists of glass spheres, resembling clouds, that form a magical floating city ideally powered by the heat of the sun.
The issue of environment sustainability is important to Ornellaia, which has focused on self-sustaining ecosystems through precision agriculture. Axel Heinz, director of the Bolgheri estate, describes the character of Solare: “In this year of extremes, in which frost, sun and drought all played a decisive role, we succeeded in bringing blackberry and liquorice to the wine, alongside the velvety tannins typical of hot vintages; at the same time, superb envelopment and acidity instil Mediterranean sumptuousness in the wine.”
The Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2017 ‘Solare’ wine and art were auctioned online through Sotheby’s from 1st to 9th September 2020, with $315.000 raised as a donation to support the Solomon R. Guggenheim ‘Mind’s Eye’ programme, concerned with the artistic perception of the blind and visually impaired. The Vendemmia d’Artista, in its first ten editions, has donated more than two million dollars across the globe to organisations including the Whitney Museum in New York, the Neue National Galerie in Berlin, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, the Royal Opera House in London, and the H2 Foundation in Hong Kong and Shanghai
Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista
Rebecca Horn – L’energia
Rodney Graham – L’Infinito
John Armleder – L’Incanto
Michelangelo Pistoletto – La Celebrazione
Zhang Huan – L’Equilibrio
Yutaka Sone – L’Eleganza
Ernesto Neto – L’Essenza
William Kentridge – Il Carisma
Shirin Neshat – La Tensione
Jan Fabre – La Grazia