Category Archives: HOT NEWS

2020: the year that changed the world? The story of an extraordinary vintage in the words of Axel Henz

 

2020 will remain in the history books for many reasons, first and foremost for all the emergencies caused by Covid-19, which put the whole world on standby for several weeks. Also from a winemaking point of view, there will be plenty to remember: a dynamic year, full of climate-related twists that maintained an incredible level of suspense until the final days of the harvest. In a few years’ time, 2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as another fine vintage for Bolgheri wines.

Axel Heinz, Estate Director, reports the vintage in his own words:

FIRST, QUIET, THEN THE COVID “STORM”

Nothing in the winter foretold a vintage so different than usual, except for the repeated mild and rainy climate, with temperatures rarely close to 0°C. Nevertheless, at the beginning of March, we just managed to finish the winter vineyard work and to bottle Le Volte dell’Ornellaia before the national lockdown was enforced. Fortunately, the buds took their time and broke in the last week of the month, giving the Ornellaia team time to prepare and organize our work in utmost safety.

A MAGNIFICENT SPRING, TIME OF SERENITY

In April, Mother Nature seemed to want to compensate for the difficulties of the lockdown, gifting the vineyards with textbook conditions until the end of May, with hot, mostly dry days. The vines grew regularly, allowing the leaves to be pruned without too much haste. The flowering and fruit set occurred in perfect conditions during the last week of May. June, on the other hand, proved very wet, accelerating the growth of the vines and upping the pressure for plant treatments. The bunches grew substantially at this time and considerable vineyard management was required to keep the foliage under control.

JULY AND AUGUST: THE LEGEND OF THE BOLGHERI SUMMER IS A FACT

July was hot and dry, essential for initiating the veraison, which developed slowly and punctually towards the end of the month. In August, the temperatures increased further, totalling 47 days above 30°C for the entire season, with frequent highs of 36-37°C, making this summer comparable with 2015.

As we could have expected, the first samples of Sauvignon Blanc at the beginning of August already showed a high sugar concentration, which gave rise to predictions of an early harvest. Fortunately, the high daytime temperatures also dipped under 20°C at night, allowing the grapes to develop their aromatic potential and maintain good acidity.

Meanwhile, the red grapes continued to ripen slowly, creating an interesting phenolic potential. At the end of August, rain arrived in time to alleviate the excessive water stress and lower the temperatures. During the Merlot harvest, the temperatures dipped to 14-15°C at night, perfect for gathering these grapes at the height of their perfume and energy.

HARVEST: ONLY THE RAIN CAN STOP US

The first bunches of Sauvignon Blanc were harvested on 13 August, finishing with the final berries on 25 August. The Viognier harvest saw similar times, from 14 to 28 August, showing moderate sugar levels and excellent acidity. For the reds, the harvest commenced on 3 September with the youngest Merlot vines.

In mid-September, a sudden change occurred: a heatwave shortly before the Merlot and Vermentino harvest had been completed. The sugar levels increased and the berries started to become concentrated, accelerating the ripening. In many vineyards, the harvest had to be carried out in two stages: separating the healthy fruit from the grapes burnt by the sun. The Cabernet was harvested immediately after the Merlot, a rare event for Ornellaia, as too was the simultaneous harvesting of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.

A second wave of rain, this time longer, granted a moment of rest for the team during the harvest, which resumed at the end of September, ending earlier than usual, on 3 October. The late harvest of the Petit Manseng noble grapes, used to make the estate’s dessert wine, took place a week later, concluding on 9 October.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE WINES: ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

I can certainly say that 2020 will be a successful vintage for all Ornellaia wines,” Axel Heinz concludes his vintage report. 

Given the particularly hot summer, the white grapes were harvested early to preserve their aromas and freshness. The Sauvignon Blanc is very balanced, with moderate alcohol, fresh and juicy acidity, and magnificent expressions of ripe tropical fruit. The Vermentino and Viognier are rich and floral, also showing good energy, while the Petit Manseng achieved concentration levels rarely seen before.

The reds are very promising, with a rich and structured style. The Merlot has a smooth texture and great intensity of fully ripened red fruit, without being heavy. The Cabernet Sauvignon, in some cases, is still fermenting, but early samples reveal wines with a regal poise, darkly hued, with classic notes of plants and blackcurrants, and dense and solid tannins.

It’s no longer a secret that Bolgheri is one of the best places to grow Cabernet Franc, but the level reached with the 2020 vintage remains astounding. Rich and dense, with refined tannins, it literally explodes into notes of blackcurrants, violets and delicate plant aromas.

Tenuta Luce The Luce harvest 2020 Grapes with perfect maturation

 

The yield 2020 is in the cellar. Unique like all the previous vintages, with grapes of high quality.
“Winter was largely dry and mild, conditions that ushered in an early but even budbreak, beginning in the second week of March for Sangiovese and the third week for Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A sunny spring, with some rainfall in May, set the stage for a slightly early but excellent flowering around 25 May, followed by a rapid fruit-set. Summer proved hot and sunny, with almost no rainfall, but sporadic rain in the first three weeks in June had the beneficial effect of preparing the vines to cope well with heat, and the result was a welcome gradual ripening.  In the final week of August, two spells of rain gave relief to the vines and lowered temperatures, allowing the vines to fully complete the ripening process. The harvesting of the first Merlot parcels for Lucente began on 3 September, followed on 10 September with the Merlot for Luce. The grapes were sound and healthy, with ideal ripeness levels; they also showed significant aromatic qualities, thanks to wide day-night temperature differentials over the final weeks of the harvest. We stated picking the Sangiovese on 16 September, and continued through the last week in September. On 30 September, illuminated by a brilliant sun, picking of the Cabernet Sauvignon dedicated to Lux Vitis brought the harvest to a triumphant close.” – Lamberto Frescobaldi
Passion, in a particular year like this, is a modality used all days at Tenuta Luce, in each activity in vineyard and cellar.
Tenuta Luce, founded at the beginning of the 1990s, is an 88 hectares estate of well-tended vineyards located in Montalcino. Thanks to the farsightedness of the owners, the Frescobaldi family, Tenuta Luce brings to life unique wines, bearing the extraordinary qualities of its territory combined with its strong personality. In a short period of time it has risen to be ranked among the most renowned wineries in Tuscany.Its portfolio consists of the standard-bearer Luce, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary with vintage 2017; the second vin Lucente; the Luce Brunello as tribute to Montalcino’s oenological tradition, and few precious bottles of Lux Vitis, a Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Sangiovese.

New cuvée – Koudiat Côtes du Rhône

 

Koudiat is the iconic cuvée made by LAVAU, our dad used to blend each vintage when he was still living in North Africa where our family arrived in 1895.

During a recent visit in our cellar in Violès, our dad tasted a sample of red Côtes du Rhône from current vintage and said: “it tastes like home, same taste as when I was young”

We couldn’t let this opportunity pass by, we could perpetuate the family history.
Koudiat is the remaining souvenir of the little hillsides of Lavau, you will discover a quality wine for which the expression of fruit and the silkiness have been our goal but always keeping in mind the search for great balance.

A thirst quenching wine to share, Koudiat is your Family wine…

Technical specifications

Terroir: red clays and pebbles.

Yield: 50 hl/ha.
Blend: 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah

Age of the vines: 50 years.

Vinification : 100% destemed grapes, fermentation at cold temperature in stainless steel tanks for 20 days.

Ageing: in tanks.

2020 Harvest underway. How are Italy’s most representative varieties faring?

24 September 2020.  Italy’s harvest is at the halfway point, and we asked, “How are they doing?” about the Country’s most classic grapes.

Vermentino. This grape variety is the very symbol of seaside and vacation, but Italian viticulture offers some quite sophisticated interpretations of it. In Sardinia, where it is one of the principal varieties, Siddùra (37 hectares of vineyard) offers outstanding testimony, with three different Vermentino expressions in rising complexity, Spèra, Maìa, and Bèru. “We picked most of our Vermentino in the first two weeks of September,” reports Director Massimo Ruggero. “Then the temperatures dropped, and we had a couple of brief spells of rain, so we waited a few days, then concluded the harvest on 21 September.” The clusters were sound and healthy, with fine acidities, qualities required to produce a Vermentino that will age well. “The crop level was on a par with previous vintages. Our climate is hot and dry, which Vermentino likes, hydration was always sufficient except for the hottest weeks in July and August, which required focused action to ensure proper soil irrigation”.

Pinot Bianco. Pinot Bianco is another important grape, this time in northern Italy, where, at the foot of the Alps, it achieves rare elegance. Cantina Kaltern (450 hectares of vineyards), one of the largest producers in the Alto Adige region, is approaching the end of its harvest. Technical director Andrea Moser admits that rains in August constituted the main challenge this season, but he says, “I am satisfied with the Pinot Bianco we have brought in so far, particularly the lots that will go into our cru Vial. I am already anticipating a Pinot Bianco of remarkable sapidity. In fact, the lots of fruit that we waited to bring in show textbook ripeness, so they should give us really age-worthy Pinot Biancos.”

Sangiovese. Tuscany’s “royal variety” is the protagonist of some of Italy’s most famous reds: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, and many renowned IGTs. At Castello di Brolio (240 hectares of vineyard), the Sangiovese harvest started mid September. In the words of Francesco Ricasoli, “We started picking our Sangiovese slightly earlier than the norm. Currently, we’ve brought into the cellar the earliest-ripening parcels and some of our finest cru vineyards, such as Roncicone. Colledilà is almost ready, while the parcels that go to produce CeniPrimo will be harvested at the beginning of October. The Sangiovese is perfectly healthy, thanks to lovely heat in the first half of September.”

Also at Tenuta Luce (88 hectares of vineyard), one of Montalcino’s leading estates, the Sangiovese-harvest has already kicked off. “It is important to be ready to pick at just the right moment,” explains Marchese Lamberto Frescobaldi. “We started harvesting our Sangiovese on 18 September, but we will wait a few more days for the clusters dedicated to the cru of Luce Brunello. We are very positive: the fruit is healthy and shows a great aromatic potential. We fully believe that 2020 will be a beautiful vintage for our Brunello of Tenuta Luce.”

In the Tuscan Maremma, on the other hand, the Sangiovese harvest is completed” Yes, the temperatures in August were certainly high,” admitted Ettore Rizzi, owner and production manager at Fattoria Le Pupille (80 hectares under vine), an area leader that has made Maremma and its Morellino famous worldwide. “But we also had cool nights and consistent breezes. We began picking a bit early, and exercised rigorous quality-selection in the vineyard. That paid off, with beautiful, crisp fruit and good phenolic ripeness, very promising conditions for both our Morellino di Scansano and for our well-known cru, Poggio Valente.”

Nebbiolo. Another lead actor on the Italian wine stage is, of course, Nebbiolo, which in Piedmont’s Langhe district makes the revered Barolo and Barbaresco. Pio Cesare (75 hectares of vineyard) is counting down to the harvest. Reports Federica Boffa, fifth-generation owner, “Our Nebbiolos are approaching full ripeness, a point we expect them to reach in about ten days. The sugar levels are excellent, and the components of physiological ripeness are lining up nicely. We should begin harvesting in the first days of October, a bit earlier than in recent seasons.”

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Co. The international varieties have long found in Italy their ideal habitat and yield world-class expressions in certain areas that are now their “home.” Among the iconic producers is Masseto (11 hectares in vines) whose same-named wine is a legend among wine lovers, and Bolgheri-based Ornellaia (115 hectares of vineyard), whose vineyards are a byword for utmost attention and sustainable viticulture. “2020 is great example of the now- unpredictable nature of our weather, “observes Axel Heinz, director of both wine estates. “We have had to deal with challenges on various fronts: a spell of high heat and periods of cooler temperatures and rain. The Merlot is already in the cellar, since we finished picking that variety on 15 September. We are now in the process of picking the first clusters of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The grapes are gorgeous, ripe, with terrific quality.”

Also located in Tuscany, in the enchanted Val d’Orcia’s Sarteano, is Tenuta di Trinoro (23 hectares in vineyard), whose owner, Andrea Franchetti, is still waiting patiently to bring in his Merlot. “September’s waxing moon is coaxing our Merlot into the final stage of ripeness,” he says. “I go out into the vineyard every morning to taste the berries, just to measure the progress they’ve made overnight.” As far as the Cabernet is concerned, though, “We’re still going to have wait a good bit.”

In Trentino, at San Leonardo (30 hectares in vineyard), Marchese Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga too is quite happy with the Merlot he has brought in. “It’s still too early to pronounce an in-depth judgment, but we’re quite confident regarding quality, since the technical figures all line up so well: excellent acidities, solid pH, and moderate sugars, so all this should ensure elegant, crisp wines, which are precisely the hallmarks of our San Leonardo.” Here, too, the Cabernet is waiting for the autumn sun to bring it to final ripeness.

Pinot Noir. This variety may not immediately spring to mind when thinking of Italian viticulture, but the challenging Pinot Noir grape has found a home here too, and in some growing areas delivers sublime wines. One of these is certainly Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese, on whose gently-rolling hills Conte Vistarino (200 hectares of vineyards) has been cultivating Pinot Noir since the mid-1800s, producing a line almost exclusively composed of this noble variety. “Out Pinot Noirs have been in for two weeks now, and they are now fermenting,” reports Ottavia Vistarino. “We started on 19 August with the grapes for our sparkling wines, then it was the turn of our red wines, including our crus Pernice, Bertone, and Tavernetto. We were particularly fortunate this year to see a good balance between crop and canopy, which means that the alcohol levels will be contained and the results elegant and refined.”

Nerello Mascalese. The iconic variety of Mount Etna, which makes one of Sicily’s most sought-after wines, is one of the last-harvested grapes. At Passopisciaro (26 hectares of vineyard), one of the very first producers to divine the quality potential of this particular Sicilian terroir, the berries are looking fine indeed and ripeness is proceeding apace, thanks to end-of-summer heat and day-night temperature differentials that vary as much as 20o. Director Vincenzo Lo Mauro exudes positivity: “If weather conditions continue this way, we’ll start picking towards the end of October.” Contrada Rampante, the estate’s highest vineyard area, will be in all likelihood the last to be harvested, but as Lo Mauro, with more than 20 harvests under his belt, underscores, every season speaks its own unique language, and in the world of wine, perhaps more so than in others, one never stops learning.

And how could we argue?

Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2018: A classic wine from a classic vintage

 

Ornellaia presents the 2018 vintage of Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, the second vin produced by the Bolgheri estate and an accomplished wine, appreciated by connoisseurs around the world. 

 

The first vintage of this prized cuvée was in 1997 and, year after year, this wine has established itself as a leading expression of its appellation, Bolgheri Rosso DOC. 

 

The character and personality, which vaunt the signature style and savoir-faire of Ornellaia, combine promising ageing potential and inherent amiability. In this latest vintage, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia exhibits aromatic complexity and beguiling tannins, reminding us of the Bolgheri wines from the 2013 and 2010 vintages.

 

2018 benefitted from balanced conditions with spring rainfall, abundantly restocking the water table that had been put to the test during the previously hot summer. After a wet spring, the mild and sunny summer escorted the grapes through to the harvesting weeks in almost perfect conditions. The sugar and acidity developed slowly and the grapes, aided by the well-hydrated soil, reached the right dimensions. September saw high temperatures during the day and cooler conditions at night, which enabled the grapes to preserve their aromas. “After a number of dry years, the conditions in 2018 gave a decidedly autumnal touch to the harvest, the perfect premise for a particularly balanced vintage of great aromatic complexity.”

 

Each individual parcel of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot was harvested and vinified separately. After the first 12 months of refinement in barriques, the wine was blended before ageing for a further three months in wood and subsequently bottled as Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia.

 

Winemaker Olga Fusari describes it as a “wine of great aromatic complexity, a distinguishing feature of the vintage. Amidst aromas of berries, blackberries, raspberries and red cherries, floral overtones of eglantine unfurl alongside spiced notes of pink pepper and liquorice. This is a charming and well balanced Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, well structured, with a crisp and flavourful finish.

 

As we wait for the debut of Ornellaia 2018 expected in the spring, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2018 reveals the hallmarks of this vintage, while providing intense pleasure by the glass in a promise of joy and evolution over time. A classic wine from a classic vintage that fully expresses the Bolgheri DOC territory.

 ORNELLAIA VENDEMMIA D’ARTISTA 2017 “SOLARE” AUCTION RESULTS

THE AMOUNT OF $315.000 WILL BE DONATED TO THE SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM FOUNDATION IN NEW YORK IN SUPPORT OF

THE MIND’S EYE PROGRAM

 

 

Bolgheri, 10 September 2020 – Yesterday evening, Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi, President of the prestigious Bolgheri winery Ornellaia, and Giovanni Geddes, CEO, personally handed a cheque for $315.000 to Karole Vail, Director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The donation was possible thanks to the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2017 “Solare” edition and sales of the prized limited-edition bottles designed by artist Tomás Saraceno.

 

For the last twelve years, Ornellaia has been furthering the Vendemmia d’Artista project, which supports foundations and museums around the world through the union of art and wine. Since last year, thanks to a collaboration with the Guggenheim, it has raised funds to support an equally innovative initiative: the Mind’s Eye program at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

 

The “Mind’s Eye” program was created by the Guggenheim’s Education Department to gift the joy of art to visitors who are blind or have low vision. The appreciation of art, like wine, involves all the senses. This was the idea that inspired Ornellaia to donate the profits from the annual Vendemmia d’Artista auction to this program.

 

Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Ornellaia, commented: “The huge success that the Mind’s Eye program is having, also thanks to our donations, fills us with pride, especially when we observe how the same model can extend not only to other museums belonging to the Guggenheim Foundation, but also to other art institutions in the rest of the world, ensuring that this excellence continues to guide museum programming for the blind and persons with low vision. And to all people across the world.”

 

At the end of the auction, which was held online by Sotheby’s from 1 to 9 September, Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation said: Through the continued support of Ornellaia, the Guggenheim has been able to offer greater access to our programming and to deepen audience engagement. We extend our gratitude to Ornellaia for recognizing the importance of programs such as Mind’s Eye and for their generosity.”

 

Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2017 “Solare”

 

The Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project celebrates and describes the character of every new vintage of Ornellaia. Every year, starting with the release of Ornellaia 2006, 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 vintage.

“Solare” (radiant in English) is the epithet chosen by Axel Heinz to describe the 2017 vintage of this wine: “It was a year of extremes, in which sun and heat played a decisive role. By adapting to the conditions with more precise and flexible practices, we succeeded in voicing the bold personality of this vintage.”

Based on the descriptor, Tomás Saraceno gave his interpretation of Ornellaia 2017 Solare. The artist sought inspiration in the alliance between the Sun and populated systems of life, inviting greater care and attention to the most important source of our planet’s energy; the Sun, which is depicted in the evolution of an eclipse. The issue of sustainability is explored through floating spheres such as “PNEUMA 4.21×105”, the sculpture that tops the Salmanazar, and the special thermodynamic labels, which like the ecosystems in which we live, are heat sensitive.  

What wine to serve when it’s hot?

Wine accompanies your meals, your aperitifs or your picnics. And with soaring temperatures as summer approaches, you might be wondering which wine to serve when it’s hot? We give you some indications.

A refreshing rosé

As long as you keep it cool, you can serve a rosé like. This wine is also perfect to accompany summer meals:

  • grills or pastas, pizzas,
  • salads,
  • aperitifs.

It is more appropriate to serve dry rosés in case of strong and repeated sunshine.

A red wine to drink chilled

To be served chilled, red wines are also suitable for the season, as long as they are stored in a dry place, away from light and heat (between 11 and 15 degrees).

Champagne served at low temperature

It is best to serve champagnes very chilled, that is to say that do not exceed ten degrees. You have the choice between, for example, the Champagne vintage, or a sparkling wine: Crémant de Bourgogne from Domaine Deliance.

Some tips for drinking your wine in hot weather

Most categories of wine can be consumed in summer, it is simply necessary to know how to serve them well and to choose the best according to the conditions. It is recommended that you serve the alcohol cooler than you normally would. Ambient heat quickly increases the temperature of the wine once served in the bottles. Also, do not hesitate to cool your wines before serving them: refrigerator, very cold water, bucket of ice cubes, etc.

Mother nature waits for no-one: the promising 2020 harvest at Ornellaia is underway

2020 is a year we are unlikely to forget but, in the vineyards of Bolgheri at least, conditions so far this year give hope for an outstanding vintage.

 

With the exception of a few particularly cool nights in March, the spring was almost perfect: sunny, with some rain at the right time. The conditions ensured correct and consistent growth in the vineyards, resulting in a slightly earlier budbreak, only one week earlier than usual.

The fruit set was assured and laid the foundations for a generous harvest that has now been confirmed in August.

 

The summer commenced with a June that was wetter than usual, forcing the Ornellaia team to conduct considerable vineyard management to limit and protect the vegetation at the height of its growth. July balanced the circumstances, given the lack of rainfall, slowing down the development of the vines just in time for the veraison, which occurred during the last ten days of the month.

 

As the months under Covid-19 unfurled, the organization in the vineyard and cellar were swiftly adapted to protect Ornellaia’s employees. “Back in April,” explains Estate Director Axel Heinz, “we reorganised the cellar, where about 20 people work, whereas distancing is natural in the vineyards. We changed our working methods without altering our operation and without compromising our standards of quality. It has been a significant challenge.”

 

The harvest started about a week earlier than usual, on 13th of August, with the first bunches of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. The red varietals (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) are expected to be harvested between the last few days of August and the first week of September.

 

 “The watchwords for this first harvest after the Covid-19 lockdown are ‘confidence & resilience,’” continues the Director. “Our commitment is to work as usual, interpreting the vintage to the best of our abilities while preserving the style and identity of Ornellaia.”

 

Hopes are high for the 2020 vintage, but, like every year, it will be the weather conditions in September that decide the definitive quality of the vintage. Meanwhile, the harvest continues…

12th edition of ORNELLAIA VENDEMMIA D’ARTISTA

Sotheby’s to auction artistic bottles designed by Tomás Saraceno

From 1st to 9th September, 12 prized lots of
Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2017 “Solare” will be auctioned online

In support of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s
access program “Mind’s Eye”.

Sotheby’s online auction will commence on the 1st of September for the prized bottles of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2017 “Solare” (translated in English as “Radiant”) designed by the Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno, renowned internationally for his interactive installations that allude to new sustainable ways of living on our planet in this age of ecological turmoil.

“We are delighted to collaborate on our tenth auction with Ornellaia’s exceptional Vendemmia d’Artista programme, having enjoyed spectacular events over the past decade in New York, Hong Kong, London, Toronto, Basel, Los Angeles and Venice. For the second consecutive year, the special auction celebrating the 2017 “Solare” will be offered online. The sublime marriage of art and wine in these unique large format bottles is a winning combination that will prove enticing to collectors around the world,” comments Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine.

“We are grateful to Ornellaia for their continued involvement in the visual arts and their support of the Mind’s Eye’s program offered both on-site and online,” Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation stated. “Thanks to the generosity of Ornellaia, we are able to expand the programs that allow us to promote the understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art to a wider public.”

 

The issue of environment sustainability is particularly dear to Ornellaia, which has focused on self-sustaining ecosystems for some time now through precision agriculture. Due to this attention to the soil management, gentle handling of the grapes and a slightly earlier harvest, Ornellaia 2017 is a wine of surprising harmony. Axel Heinz, director of the Bolgheri estate, explains, “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.”

Simultaneously, in creating the artwork dedicated to the radiance of Ornellaia 2017, Tomás Saraceno sought inspiration in the alliance between the Sun and populated systems of life. The estate’s site-specific installation, which will be installed on the estate, will consist in glass spheres that, resembling clouds, form a magical floating city ideally powered by the heat of the sun. A take on this concept is the sculpture, titled “PNEUMA 4.21×105”, which tops the impressive 9-litre Salmanazar, the most prestigious lot at the auction. The artist has personalized in total 111 large-format bottles, depicting the various phases of a solar eclipse, in addition to crafting a special label, which will uniquely feature 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 to reflection about the impact of humanity on the planet.

These works of wine and art will be auctioned online on Sotheby’s website from 1st to 9th of September. All those who register on www.sothebys.com/ornellaia will be able to view the lots, leave a bid and take part in the auction. Collectors from around the world can bid for a piece of this incredible collection, while also extending a gesture of generosity. Like last year, profits from the auction will go to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to support the “Mind’s Eye” program.

“In the last 11 years,” explains CEO of Ornellaia, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaia, “Ornellaia has donated over two million dollars to various institutions in the art world, from the Whitney Museum in New York to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Fondation Beyeler near Basel, the Royal Opera House in London and the H2 Foundation in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Starting in 2019, we wished to make a contribution to the development of artistic perception by the blind and visually impaired, which is why we decided to support the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s ‘Mind’s Eye’ program.”

 

 

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