Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Ernesto Illy Foundation

Passion and the interest for research are  distinctive traits of illycaffè since its beginnings and have improved much more under the direction of Ernesto Illy. After his graduation in chemistry, Ernesto Illy knew how to look at coffee with the scientist’s eye in order to see the unexplored details and complexities of its study subject, and he committed  his whole life to understand them.

After his death, in 2008, The Ernesto Illy Foundation has kept alive his commitment to the scientific research and it has sponsored  important projects of partnership with universities, institutions, and bodies of excellence.

The Foundation is involved in a research project on Computational Toxicology, in collaboration with Sissa, the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati di Trieste). It participates to a network of international studies (International Coffee Genome Network), focused on a program of coffee genome sequencing.

In Ethiopia, The Ernesto Illy Foundation, illycaffè and the University of Addis Ababa have launched a project to protect the varieties of Ethiopian coffee, by taking into account the close link with the socio-environmental conditions that have allowed and improved its development. The main purpose of this initiative is to promote the protection and development of the original varieties of Arabica coffee, besides protecting on site the germplasm of some primeval varieties of coffee in the wild forests of Ethiopia.

As for training, the Foundation has promoted with a group of partners of excellence in the educational field the Master in Coffee Science and Economics.


Ernesto Neto interprets Ornellaia 2014 ‘L’Essenza.’

ernesto-neto-signature-ornellaia-2014The Bolgheri Estate presents the 9th edition of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project.

Artist Ernesto Neto has created unique labels that will dress a limited edition of numbered large-size bottles of Ornellaia, 9 lots of which will be auctioned by Sotheby’s at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, which will receive the proceeds. 

The Brazilian artist who works with the Huni Kuin tribe is inspired by Mother Nature to convey the character of the 2014 vintage.

The art project has now donated more than 1 million euros to art foundations and museums across the globe

For this year’s 9th annual Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista art project, which was launched in 2009, in which Bolgheri-based Ornellaia selects an internationally-famous artist to create an artwork that will interpret the distinctive character of each individual vintage, Ornellaia has commissioned Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto to illustrate Ornellaia 2014 “L’Essenza”.

For Axel Heinz, Ornellaia’s Director and Winemaker, the 2014 vintage exhibits the character of ‘L’Essenza,’ or the Essence. “When one is confronted with a challenging growing season, in order to make a great wine, one has to focus on simply extracting that year’s very essence. And, in fact, the 2014 year unexpectedly turned into a pleasant surprise, since the heavy rains and low temperatures during the ripening stages were followed by a September and October which brought us exemplary weather conditions; the final result was a somewhat later harvest, which delivered optimally vibrant fruit with crisp acidities.

We complemented that result with meticulous hand-picking, whose objective was to select only the most sound, healthy clusters. What one notices immediately about the 2014 vintage is the high quality of the tannins: elegant and silk-smooth, with no rough edges at all. 2014 will be remembered in Tuscany for the summer that never was and as one of the most unusual. A warm and rainy winter was followed by a mild and dry spring, a distinctively average July and a cold and rainy August. All of this created difficult conditions for the ripening of the grapes. September and October, however, brought perfect conditions, with mostly sunny and dry weather, offering excellent conditions for ripening, particularly for Merlot. While we had an incredible amount of extra work to do in the vineyard, the combination of the Estate’s varied subsoils, the varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot and our own detailed knowledge of the terroir all played distinctively in our favour. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia underlines the fundamental difference in terroir between the coast and the central Tuscan vineyards.

ornellaia-2014-lessenza-vda-ernesto-neto-3_6_9_075-liters-emotionalTo artistically interpret Ornellaia 2014 ‘L’Essenza’ Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto turned to his current field of art research, shamanism as science, natural phenomena, and the artisanal arts that are the collective fruit of the community. In 2014, Neto and the members of the Huni Kin tribe in Brazil undertook a series of artistic collaborations that analysed shamanic rituals and traditions. The spiritual life of that tribe, their striving for healing in harmony with nature, and the wisdom and serenity that they draw from their intimate bond with the energy of our earth infused into Neto’s oeuvre an unprecedented awareness of the power of nature and of the dynamic factors that regulate it. Drawing generously from these traditions, and from the shamans and their rituality, the artist’s recent works convey aspects of transformation and add multiple layers of meaning to his research into social- and ecology-based connectivity.

For Ornellaia’s Vendemmia d’Artista project, Ernesto Neto sought to convey the concept of natural balance as it is exemplified in our modern societies. He encapsulated 111 large-format bottles with an interwoven mesh, specifically 100 3-litre double magnums, 10 6-litre Imperials, and a single 9-litre Salmanazar, which together represent a social hierarchy with a single King, 10 Nobles, and a populace of 100 subjects, and in so doing illustrates the equilibrium that should reign in every community, with a hierarchy that is necessary so that all can live in harmony within the group and in uniformity with Mother Nature.

In addition, Neto designed a special label for the 750ml bottles of Ornellaia, and one bottle bearing that label will be included in every 6-bottle wood box.

To date, Ornellaia’s art project has gathered more than 1 million euros, all of which it has donated to foundations and museums that support art across its full range of expressions, including the Whitney Museum of New York, the Neue Nationalgalerie of Berlin, the Royal Opera House of London, the H2 Foundation of Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as the Museo Poldi Pezzoli of Milan, the AGO of Toronto, the Fondation Beyeler of Basel, and the Hammer Museum of Los Angeles.

On the upcoming 27 April, the spotlight will be focused on Ornellaia at a benefit auction centring on 9 lots, which will include the special bottles created by Ernesto Neto for the Ornellaia 2014 L’Essenza – Vendemmia d’Artista. Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby’s CEO & President, Americas & Asia, will preside at a gala dinner and auction that will raise funds to be donated in their entirety to the host sponsoring the event, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation in New York, directed by Richard Armstrong.

“The Vendemmia d’Artista series is a wonderful way of combining the characteristics of each vintage of Ornellaia with a world class artist’s interpretation of that specific year. For the ninth edition, Sotheby’s Wine are delighted to continue our collaboration with the launch of Ornellaia 2014 L’Essenza Vendemmia d’Artista, through a very special dinner and auction benefiting the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.” Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby’s CEO & President, Americas & Asia.


Espumante do mar: Miolo is the first Brazilian winemaker to immerse bottles in underwater cave

unnamedSubmerged sparkling wines have 10 times more molecular compounds than those aged by the traditional method. Richer and floral flavor and clear notes of butter and nuts were also observed.

To celebrate the successful sales of the Miolo Cuvée Tradition Brut sparkling wine on French soil, Miolo Group bets on a unique system of aging and stabilization of the product: the immersion of bottles in underwater cellars.

Just over two months ago, a lot of sparkling wine celebrated in the foreign market was immersed in the sea of the province of Bretagne, France in the North Atlantic.

The whole operation was carried out in underwater cellars, creating ideal conditions, not only to age, but also to confer unique characteristics to the wines submitted to this process.

Strategically immersed in the island of Ouessant, in the region known as Baie du Stiff, bottles of Miolo Cuvée Tradition Brut are in contact with sea temperatures (between 11 and 13 ° C) and air (8 to 10 ° C) Besides receiving the beneficent influences of the constant and gentle sea agitation.

According to Adriano Miolo the surprising effects resulting from the conditions of conservation of the bottles are observed in laboratory tests and tastings frequently performed to accompany the ripening of the beverage submitted to the immersion process. “In a mass spectrometry analysis, for example, a submerged foamer presented 10 times more molecular compounds than those aged by the traditional method. These compounds are responsible for the formation of the aromas and the complexity of the wine. ”

ffdsfdsfStill according to Adriano Miolo, in blind tastings conducted by specialists in the area, the results brought some relevant highlights to affirm the quality of the process: the sparkling wines present a richer and more floral flavor, they acquire complexity without losing the freshness perceiving itself, also, clear notes of butter and nuts.

The bottles of Miolo Cuvée Tradition Brut are arranged horizontally in a special container and will stand for one year in the submerged cellar. The sparkling wines will be removed from the sea in November this year and marketed in Brazil and France in a special edition.

The Miolo Cuvée Tradition Brut is made in the Vale dos Vinhedos (RS) with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes by the Traditional Method (with fermentation in the bottle itself).