Unseen Andy Warhol labels released by Napa winery

Napa Valley winery Cuvaison has launched a new series of wines with ‘forgotten’ labels designed by Andy Warhol, who once said the original labels were “lousy”.

The collaboration apparently began in early 1980s after Warhol was served a bottle of the Napa Valley Cuvaison wine at a dinner party in Switzerland hosted by his friend and the winery’s owner, Alexander Schmidheiny. 

When Schmidheiny asked what Warhol thought of the wine, Warhol replied, “What a lousy label,” and suggested a redesign.

Commissioned by Cuvaison, Warhol took polaroids of grapes in a variety of patterns to create over 50 unique silkscreen prints for Cuvaison labels. The designs, however, were then forgotten about and left in a drawer until now. 

Thirty-five years on, Cuvaison, in association with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, has released the first limited-edition set of the ‘Andy Warhol by Cuvaison Collection’.

The ‘Series One’ range is now available in Hong Kong and consists of a 2014 Chardonnay from Carneros and a 2014 Bordeaux blend from Brandlin Vineyard in Mount Veeder. 

“While the Foundation has had the privilege of working with many brands including Dior, Dom Pérignon, Perrier and Absolut, among others, Andy Warhol x Cuvaison is uniquely authentic because Warhol himself created the artworks used for the project with the intention that they be considered as labels for Cuvaison. The Foundation is delighted to work with Cuvaison to finish what Andy started,” said Michael Hermann, director of licensing of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The collection is available at Kedington Wines at HK$1,850 per set.

Born in 1928, Warhol is considered a pop-art icon and is famous for exploring pop culture using popular brands such as Coco-cola and celebrity images. Warhol died in 1987 due to complications during gallbladder surgery, which had become part of a routine for his later life after being shot by feminist Valerie Solanas in 1968.

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