Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2020
Benefit Auction of Rare Ornellaia Bottles and Experiences
Featuring Unique Bottle Designs by the American Artist Joseph Kosuth,
Latest Edition of the Tuscan Wine Estate’s Vendemmia d’Artista Program. To Benefit the Mind’s Eye Program of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. For Fourth Year
Ornellaia from Tuscany is widely recognised as one of Italy’s greatest wines. Ever since the release of the 2006 vintage, a contemporary artist has created a work of art for the estate and a series of limited-edition labels, inspired by the character identified by the estate’s winemaker to describe the new vintage.
For Ornellaia’s Vendemmia d’Artista, a highlight of the wine calendar, 111 large bottle formats – comprising 100 three-litre Double Magnums, 10 six-litre Imperials and a single nine-litre Salmanazar – are created with unique works of art and released in order to raise funds for charity. In 2012, the project was extended to each case of Ornellaia released (containing six 750ml bottles), in which one bottle out of six has a special label designed by the participating artist.
Since 2009, Ornellaia has donated all the proceeds from its Vendemmia d’Artista charity auctions in favour of art foundations and museums all over the world. And since 2019, the proceeds have been donated to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in support of an innovative project called “Mind’s Eye”, which helps bring the enjoyment of art to blind and low-vision visitors.
For the latest edition of Ornellaia’s Vendemmia d’Artista, and the 2020 vintage “La Proporzione” (Proportion), the bottle designs have been created by the American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth. Kosuth has focused on the word “vino” in different Indo-European languages, taking the history of the word through its parallel transformations, as used by a multitude of linguistic communities. This reframing is then juxtaposed with a quote from Vitruvius’ masterpiece De Architectura, thereby closing off the grammatical circle of the concept of proportion.
The concept of proportion – a perfect balance between parts and the whole – is fully expressed by Ornellaia’s 2020 vintage, a rich and full-bodied wine in which each of the four varieties grown on the Ornellaia estate show their singular qualities.
This year, Sotheby’s is participating in its 13th collaboration with Ornellaia, for an auction featuring 12 unique lots, offering collectors the opportunity to acquire large formats of the 2020 vintage. Estimates begin at £5,000 and range upwards to £30,000-80,000 for a three-bottle offering of a unique Salmanazar, an Imperial and a Double Magnum. A selection of lots includes exclusive experiences, from a visit at the Ornellaia estate to an exclusive private dinner at a 3 Michelin star restaurant and a private tour outside of regular opening hours in one of the Guggenheim Museums in New York, Bilbao, or Venice. Currently open for bidding, the auction will close to prospective buyers on 21 September.
Gary Owen, Head of Auction Sales, UK, Sotheby’s Wine, said:
“Our longstanding partnership with Ornellaia and their pioneering Vendemmia d’Artista project has seen a range of stunning vintages and unique large format bottles come under the hammer over the years, all in support of worthy causes. The rich and full-bodied 2020 vintage aligns perfectly with Joseph Kosuth’s concept for the bottle designs, and we look forward to placing these exclusive offerings with collectors around the world.”
Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Ornellaia, said:
“We are proud to support this initiative. Like in art, appreciation of fine wines requires total involvement of the senses. Furthermore, for us, partnering with the Guggenheim is a way of giving back to the community some of the extraordinary goodwill that nature has bestowed upon us.”
Joseph Kosuth said:
“I believe that language is an important part of experiencing everything and that these experiences shape us in a certain way linguistically. The architecture of experience through language was obviously always at work and I believe that Vitruvius was a major resource in understanding a concept like proportion. Proportion is not only visible equilibrium among the elements, but also equilibrium of all the elements that make it a perfect entity of what it represents for the world, thus also shaping it as conception.”
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Mind’s Eye Program
Since 2019, the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project has raised funds to support the innovative Mind’s Eye program of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. This program, created by the Guggenheim’s education department, helps individuals who are blind or have low vision experience art at the Guggenheim Museum through all their senses. The appreciation of art and great wines involves all the senses, and it is this idea that has inspired Ornellaia to support the growth of this particular program. Over the first four years of the collaboration, the donations of Ornellaia have allowed the Guggenheim to increase the Mind’s Eye program’s activities, purchase necessary tools for the development of the program and to cope with the sudden need, due to the pandemic, to transform the in-person program into a virtual experience. The Digital Mind’s Eye programs have successfully reached a growing audience, including participants from all over the world.
Following the new digital trend, the Guggenheim also launched a sensory-focused verbal description guide to the building, titled Mind’s Eye: A Sensory Guide to the Guggenheim New York. Based on verbal description, the heart of the Mind’s Eye program, this audio guide aims to do something truly unique: to describe Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic building as a work of art itself through the voice of well-known New Yorkers. Ornellaia became a Global Partner of the Guggenheim in 2023, the highest-level engagement with the international constellation of museums. The funds generated by the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project will allow the Guggenheim Museum in New York, in Bilbao and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice to develop the program and ensure that their excellence continues to lead the way in museum programming for people who are blind or have low vision.
The name ORNELLAIA conjures up the authentic expression of Tuscan beauty and Mediterranean elegance. The estate is situated along the Tuscan coast, a short distance from the medieval town of Bolgheri and its iconic cypress-lined approach. Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Superiore and Ornellaia Bianco are the estate’s top wines, ensued by the second vin Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Rosso, Le Volte dell’Ornellaia and the white Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia. The team’s dedication, together with optimal geological and microclimate conditions, has resulted in international critical acclaim and public success.
Joseph Kosuth (born in Toledo, Ohio, on 31 January 1945) trained at the Cleveland Institute of Art (1963-64), the School of Visual Art in New York (1965-67) and the New School for Social Research (1971-72). He taught at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg (1988-90) and the Staatliche Akademie der bildenden Künste in Stuttgart (1991-99). At the Museum of Visual Art, a gallery that he founded in New York in 1967, Kosuth presented his first conceptual artworks, for which he is regarded as a leading figure and theoretician. Kosuth’s art has been displayed at some of the most important contemporary art shows and is on show in major museums. His work has always explored the production and role of language and its meaning within art. By challenging conventions and definitions, he has focused his research into language with a complex approach in which philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis and art criticism all interact.
21 September 2023•13:30 BST -London