Bidding opens today on big bottle Ornellaia to help the blind

Bidding is opening today in London on big bottle Ornellaia to raise funds for a charity that supports the blind.

10 Imperial bottles of Ornellaia 2016 Vendemmia d’Artista La Tensione

Starting today, Sotheby’s online auction will offer 11 lots of the limited edition Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2016 La Tensione in large formats, with proceeds going to the Mind’s Eye program of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which helps blind and visually impaired people to experience art with all their senses.

To celebrate the 11th edition of the winery’s Vendemmia d’Artista, Ornellaia invited Shirin Neshat, the internationally acclaimed Iranian artist who lives in New York, to interpret the character of the estate’s 2016 wine, “La Tensione” (Tension), and customise a series of 111 large format bottles – 100 Double Magnums, 10 Imperials (6L) and one Salmanazar (9L) – as well as a special label to be included on one 75cl bottle in each case of the vintage. Comprising 11 lots, featuring 9 of the 10 Imperials and the unique 1 of 1 Salmanazar, the online auction will run until Friday 13 September.

Every year since the release of Ornellaia 2006 in May 2009, a contemporary artist has created a site-specific work of art and a series of limited-edition labels as part of the Vendemmia d’Artista programme.

Earlier this year, Ornellaia announced its support of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation as part of a three year partnership which will see the expansion of the museum’s programme, ‘Mind’s Eye’, developed by its education department in 2008 to help individuals who are blind or have low vision experience art through all their senses. The final sum raised to support Mind’s Eye through the sale of these exclusive large formats will be announced at an Ornellaia event at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice on the evening of 13 September, soon after the online auction draws to a close.

Jamie Ritchie, chairman, Sotheby’s Wine, said: “Sotheby’s Wine is proud to participate in our ninth collaboration with Ornellaia’s superb Vendemmia d’Artista art programme. We have jointly hosted spectacular events in New York, Hong Kong, London, Toronto, Basel, Los Angeles and London – each of which was wholly unique and exciting, in the same way that every vintage has its own distinct character. This year’s Vendemmia d’Artista auction will offer collectors the opportunity to acquire the Imperial and Salmanazar large formats of Ornellaia 2016 “La Tensione”, an immensely successful vintage which encompasses all of the virtues afforded by Bolgheri’s unique climate. The way Shirin interprets “La Tensione” using her disruptive and poetic visual language is fascinating, defining the vintage through the words of the 11th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyam. These uniquely adorned bottles will not only find homes in new cellars but always remind their owners of the joys of bringing wine, art and friendship together.”

Stephen Mould, Sotheby’s head of wine, Europe, said: “Our regular collaboration with Ornellaia on their Vendemmia d’Artista art programme has been a hugely rewarding experience. The marriage of excellent wine and thought-provoking art for such good causes is always inspiring, and Ornellaia’s latest project is especially close to our hearts. Engaging one’s senses in the appreciation of wine is a given, yet of course it is equally important to the understanding and enjoyment of art. We are thrilled to play our part in helping Ornellaia and the Guggenheim Museum to fulfil their missions.”

Shirin Neshat’s concept is centered around the theme of wine as a catalyst for social sharing, a life force that should be “enjoyed during our brief time on earth”,in the words of the 11th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyam whose poem is inscribed as calligraphy over the surfaces of female faces, hands and bodies. The artist’s poetic visual language creates contrasts between the softness of the skin and the graphic nature of the text.

Lot details can be seen below, and to bid on the sale please click here.

  • Lot 1, 1 Salmanazar (9L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat, 2016 with Visit, Stay & Dinner at Ornellaia for 6, Estimate £30,000-60,000 (illustrated above)
  • Lot 2, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016, Estimate £8,000-20,000
  • Lot 3, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016 & 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia 2016, Estimate £9,000-24,000
  • Lot 4, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016 & 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia Archivio Storico 2006, Estimate £9,000-24,000
  • Lot 5, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016 & 1 Double Magnum (3L) Ornellaia 2016, Estimate £8,500-22,000
  • Lot 6, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016 & 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia Archivio Storico 1995, Estimate: £9,000-24,000
  • Lot 7, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016 & Dinner at Ristorante Ornellaia in Zurich for 6, Estimate £13,000-35,000
  • Lot 8, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016 & Dinner at Marea Restaurant in New York for 6, Estimate £13,000-35,000
  • Lot 9, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016, Estimate £8,000-20,000
  • Lot 10, 1 Imperial (6L) Ornellaia, Vendemmia d’Artista, ‘La Tensione’ by Shirin Neshat 2016 & Lunch at Otto e Mezzo Restaurant in Hong Kong for 6, Estimate £13,000-35,000
  • Lot 11, 1 Unique Collection Case of 12 x 750ml Bottles of Ornellaia with Vendemmia d’Artista Labels, Estimate £2,400-6,000

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