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Ornellaia feeds collector demand

Ornellaia has reported a growing appetite for collecting wine as the Super Tuscan unveiled Swiss artist John Armleder as the latest collaborator in its “Vendemmia d’Artista” series.

Some of the Ornellaia imperials designed by John Armleder
Some of the Ornellaia imperials designed by John Armleder

Working with the 2012 vintage theme of “L’Incanto”, meaning “The Enchantment”, Armleder has created a series of individually signed labels for 111 bottles, including 100 double magnums, 10 imperials and one Salmanazar.

Nine of these bottles will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on 23 April to raise funds for the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, which will host the event. In total Ornellaia has raised more than one million euros for various artistic institutions since launching this programme in 2009.

The announcement of this latest tie-in came as Ornellaia revealed figures from research by Censis, which pointed to a 3.5% increase in spending on wine by Italians but an -8% decline in consumption. From these findings the brand deduced “an upsurge in quality selection and in the collection sector.

Continuing the tradition of making a piece of artwork to go on display at the Ornellaia estate, for the first time in this series Armleder has also designed another special label which will appear on one 750ml bottle inside every six bottle wooden case released by the producer.

Armleder outlined the inspiration behind his work, saying: “When I tasted Ornellaia 2012 for the first time, I was immediately transported to a world of dreams. It was unexpected and surprising; a moment that can never be repeated.”

John Armleder with one of his designs for Ornellaia 2012
John Armleder with one of his designs for Ornellaia 2012

As a result, he explained: “The image represents the surprise and pleasure I felt, and I want people to experience that feeling for themselves. When they discover the label for the first time that unique experience will become their own.”

Ornellaia’s estate director and winemaker Axel Heinz introduced the 2012 vintage, which followed a largely dry season of even ripening, as offering “an immediate sensation of pleasure that is both charming and engaging.”

Explaining his choice of theme, he described a wine with “all the luxuriance that distinguishes Ornellaia’s great vintages, but it conceals this richness behind an expansive and magnificent structure which concludes in a long-lasting finish.”

Armleder follows Ornellaia’s previous partnerships with artists including Rodney Graham from Canada in 2014 and Italy’s Michelangelo Pistoletto in 2013.



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