“A slender ray of sunshine seems to be arriving from China regarding wine sales,” is the cautiously welcome message from Ornellaia Ceo Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja. “With orders slowly increasing, in particular for the currently-available 2017 vintage of Ornellaia, it actually seems that one of the most important markets for Italian exports, and not just wine, is re-opening. This positive change is a great relief and reason for optimism, not only for us but for all of Italy’s wine industry.”
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Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Masseto, has announced today the new executive team of Masseto Estate which will see Tim Banks as the new Sales & Marketing Director, alongside Axel Heinz, who continues his commitment as Estate Director.
The role of Sales & Marketing Director was held until 2019 by Alex Belson who decided to retire after two decades of successful work. Alex Belson joined Ornellaia in 1999 and since 2015 she has dedicated herself exclusively to Masseto in the role of Sales & Marketing Director, becoming an international point of reference for the winery.
“The quality, creativity and complete dedication of Alex” states Giovanni Geddes in his message of thanks and greetings “have greatly helped the growth of these two companies which in recent years have seen an important increase in their turnover”.
Tim Banks, Ornellaia’s Sales & Marketing Director since 2015, thus doubles his role and begins a new further professional path. He will be supported by a new team formed of Vianney Gravereaux as the new Global Sales Manager, Susanne Weber as Brand Manager and Elena Oprea in the role of Communication Manager. Eleonora Marconi continues as winemaker of Masseto.
From 29 August to 13 September, eleven precious lots of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2016, “La Tensione” were auctioned off. All profits went to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the “Mind’s Eye” program
Last Friday evening at the headquarters of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in the spectacular Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, the ceremony was held which marked the conclusion of the online auction of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2016, “La Tensione”, hosted by Sotheby’s. Thanks to this initiative, conceived by Ornellaia in collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 312.000 $ were collected, with profits entirely allocated to the “Mind’s Eye” program.
The “Mind’s Eye” program, conceived by the Guggenheim’s education department, helps blind and visually impaired people to experience art through the use of all the senses. This promotes the development of creative impressions, emotional connections and memories, the perception of which lasts over time. As in art, the appreciation of great wines requires the involvement of all the senses. The sharing of this idea has led Ornellaia to support the growth of this particular program. The donations collected through Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista enable the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to further develop the activities of the “Mind’s Eye” program with the aim of spreading the model to other art institutions, ensuring that its excellence continues to guide the museum’s programming for the blind and visually impaired throughout the world.
During the closing ceremony of the auction, which gave bidders the chance to win the precious nine 6-litre Imperials and the only 9-litre Salmanazar of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2016, created by the internationally renowned artist Shirin Neshat, Ornellaia’s CEO, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja declared with satisfaction: “The appreciation of great wines, as well as the enjoyment of art, requires the involvement of all the senses, and that’s why we decided to support a high-value project like “Mind’s Eye”. In so doing, we are able to help adults with disabilities to experience art by means of activities which, through the use of the senses, provide a model of access to art that can be implemented worldwide and a legacy for future generations”.
Words shared by Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, who added: “The founding mission of the Guggenheim has been to collect and exhibit art that was not simply modern, not just new, but revolutionary. Thanks to Ornellaia, we are able involve an even wider public in this mission”.
Tension is the character chosen to define the wine produced by the 2016 grape harvest, a highly successful vintage which, according to the Director of Ornellaia, Axel Heinz “highlights all the virtues of the climate of Bolgheri: abundant sunshine, not excessive heat, a dry summer which allows the grapes to reach a perfect level of ripeness, concentration and sufficient rain to avoid water stress. All these elements combined allow us to obtain a perfectly mature and opulent wine, firm and intense; opposite forces create a sense of deep vigour which we like to call “tension”.
These are the notes on which Shirin Neshat worked to provide his interpretation of Tension.
The artist was inspired by the Persian poet Omar Khayyām, who claimed that wine should be “enjoyed during our short time on earth”. His work theme is declined through elements of Middle Eastern culture such as female faces, hands and bodies decorated with Persian calligraphy and henna decorations in continuity with the poetics of the artist.
The Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project celebrates the exclusive character of each new Ornellaia vintage. Every year, starting with the release of Ornellaia 2006 in May 2009, a contemporary artist has signed a work of art and a series of limited edition labels, drawing inspiration from a word chosen by the winemaker and which describes the character of the new vintage.
The project provides that in each case of Ornellaia, one of the six bottles (750 ml) bears the label created by the artist. As in previous years, the project includes a limited edition of 111 large-size bottles (one hundred 3-litre Double Magnums, ten 6-litre Imperial bottles and one 9-litre Salmanazar) numbered and signed personally by the artist. Every year a selection of these bottles with exclusive labels, designed and signed personally by the artist and extremely sought after by art and wine collectors, are auctioned at SOTHEBY’S, for both charity and commercial purposes; the proceeds are donated to art foundations around the world. From ORNELLAIA 2006 to the present day, a total of over two million dollars has been shared out between the Whitney Museum in New York, the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the H2 Foundation in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the Royal Opera House in London, the AGO Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York.
Opera House in London, die AGO Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, die Beyeler Fondation in Basel, das Hammer Museum in Los Angeles und das Guggenheim in New York gespendet.