Ornellaia 2014 Vendemmia d’Artista. Neto’s L’Essenza
Ornellaia 2014 L’Essenza is the ninth edition of the Vendemmia d’Artista project. The estate in Bolgheri has invited the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto to create a site-specific work of art in the cellar, which is still being developed, and a series of 111 Vendemmia d’Artista large format bottles of Ornellaia 2014: 100 double Magnums, 10 Imperials and a Salmanazar (3, 6 and 9 litres respectively).
Ornellaia on auction
Nine lots, including the special bottles, will go under the hammer on 27th April with Jamie Ritchie, CEO and president of Sotheby’s Americas and Asia, with the funds going to the Guggenheim in New York. Ernesto Neto has also designed a special edition of the classic 0.75 litre bottle of Ornellaia: there will be one in every case of six bottles.
The Ornellaia 2014 Vendemmia d’Artista project
“The Vendemmia d’Artista project was launched in 2009,” says Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, Chief Executive Officer of Ornellaia, “and involves a world-famous contemporary artist every year to interpret the unique character of each vintage and to make it known to the world. In eight editions we have raised and donated over 1 million euros to foundations and museums all over the world: this year our goal is to raise over 1.5 million.”
The artist: Ernesto Neto
Ernesto Neto creates large installations using organic materials and has been working with the Huni Kuin tribe in the Amazon for the last two years. This year he will take part in the Venice Biennale with one of his works. Geddes da Filicaja continues, “Neto has created a label for the 0,75 bottle with a mark that recalls a seed, a simple, initial and generative idea that led to all the other special editions.” The artist explains: “everything is sculpture for me and plants have always played a fundamental role in my art. Wine is a secret juice that is born from plants, and it leads from a dark environment (the earth) to the light. Wine is slow, just as nature is slow. “I have developed the concept and thought of a beginning and an end that could coincide in the essence. This is how the special bottles of Ornellaia 2014 were created, and I pictured them as a king (the Salmanazar), a queen (the Imperial) and a child (the double Magnum). They are covered with mantles which protect them and head covers which represent the heads. The king and queen have to take care of the child.”
The concept of terroir
This concept transferred to the community (also considering the number of bottles produced) becomes: a king (the Salmanazar), ten lords (the Imperials) and the people (100 double Magnums), illustrating the balance of the community itself, where hierarchy is essential in order to be able to live in harmony within a group and “where a government must provide for the care, safety and assistance of every family,” concludes Neto.
Ornellaia 2014: an unusual vintage
“L’Essenza (essence), the concept chosen for the 2014 vintage,” says Axel Heinz, winemaker and director of Ornellaia, “recalls the French concept of terroir. The 2014 will be remembered in Tuscany for its unusual weather trend, with a warm and wet winter, a dry and mild spring, an average July and cold and wet August. In September and October the conditions changed and became perfect for grape ripening. A lot of work was done in the vineyard and cellar and gave a wine with silky and refined tannins. In short, we have removed the superfluous to express the true Ornellaia.”
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