St-Emilion label artwork raises £40,000 for charity

An auction of the original artwork used on the label of a biodynamic St-Emilion wine has raised £40,000 for charity.

The Caelestis 2011 label was created by Scottish artist Peter Doig. The original artwork has just sold for £40,000 (Photo: Caelestis)

The Caelestis 2011 label was created by Scottish artist Peter Doig. The original artwork sold for £40,000 (Photo: Caelestis)

The sale was organised by Cælestis, a charity which raises funds for the World Wildlife Fund through auctions of ecologically sensitive luxury products.

As part of its fundraising strategy, Cælestis has created its own Grand Cru St-Emilion wine brand – which it claims is the only not-for-profit wine brand in Bordeaux – with wines made by the biodynamic Château Fonroque.

The label for the Cælestis 2011 vintage is based on a specially-made watercolour painting by the renowned Scottish artist Peter Doig, who donated the original work to the charity.

A sale of the work, which shows a representation the moon in reference to the lunar cycles used to make biodynamic wine, raised £40,000, which was distributed to WWF causes in the UK, France, Portugal, Poland, Canada, the US, China and Hong Kong, Cælestis said.

The charity has also arranged an online auction of six bottles of its 2011 vintage, which have been autographed by Doig as well as the winemaker, Alain Moueix. The auction, hosted by McTear’s and including other works of art donated by art students from a variety of countries, is open now and closes on 24 January. All proceeds raised will again benefit WWF.

“Peter Doig’s watercolour, showing a vision of the moon in relation to Cælestis biodynamic wine, sold for a stunning amount which was well above our expectations,” a Cælestis spokesperson said.

“All proceeds from the auction of the Cælestis biodynamic wine and associated art donated by students from France, Poland, Canada and China will go directly to WWF UK.”

In addition to raising funds for the WWF, Cælestis also aims to raise awareness of the environmental impact of wine production and consumption.

The charity’s website points out that viticulture is the largest agricultural consumer of synthetics chemicals, and that just 3% of Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé estates produce wine organically.

Château Fonroque, it says, is one of only three biodynamic Grand Cru Classé estates in St-Emilion.

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