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The 16th Edition of Vendemmia d’Artista: Marinella Senatore Interprets the Character of Ornellaia 2021 “La Generosità” with Collages, Lights and Words That Celebrate a True Wine Community

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From May 22 to June 5, 2024, Sotheby’s will auction large-format bottles with Vendemmia d’Artista artwork labels. The profits will support the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s Mind’s Eye program.

Bolgheri, Italy, May 15, 2024 – Bolgheri wine estate Ornellaia is excited to announce that the annual charity auction of bottles from the 16th edition of Vendemmia d’Artista, organized by Sotheby’s, will return online from May 22 to June 5, 2024. “La Generosità” (Generosity) is the character of Ornellaia 2021. The theme is in harmony with Marinella Senatore, an Italian artist who works all over the world, conveying the dynamics and poetics of communities. The pride and dedication of the people who make Ornellaia inspired the artist, who designed a set of labels as unique artistic prints of the original collages, a sculpture for the Salmanazar (9 liters) and a site-specific work for the 16th edition of Vendemmia d’Artista.

In the works dedicated to Ornellaia 2021 “La Generosità”, Senatore used her artistic motifs and translated the character of the wine into a universal language. Collages and “luminarie” can be seen in the labels for the 750ml bottles, the 100 double magnums, 10 imperials and the sculpture dedicated to the one and only Salmanazar. “I observed and studied Ornellaia at length. The energy of the natural elements, like the sea, wind and stars found here, merge with the energy of the people who work here and create correlations that are declarations of awareness: its human empowerment,” explains the artist. 

The “La Generosità” character filters through the artist’s beloved concept of care and giving, which is where hands come into play, one of Senatore’s defining features. Outlines of the hands of the people who work every day to craft the excellence of Ornellaia were included in the collages made for the labels and become both a portrait and a feeling. Dance is another important motif. Dancing is an archetypical gesture whereby the community celebrates itself, and Senatore wanted to show this ancestral movement, citing the harvest festival, through an original score and dancing figures. 

Lamberto Frescobaldi, President and member of the family that owns Ornellaia, reiterates: “Our identity is based on the place, our work and being a team. The 2021 character is centered on the generosity of the land, and Marinella Senatore’s interpretation revealed additional meaning: The generosity of the land creates an ecosystem to which we all belong, and it is also significant for me that the harvest celebration is part of her work.” 

The light sculpture created for the Salmanazar forms the zenith of Senatore’s artistic process. On the 9-liter bottle, the artist installed one of her famous “luminarie”, which were used in the past to unite people in temporary places defined by light and color. The work for the Ornellaia 2021 Salmanazar is inspired by a Baroque rose window. It is made from innovative cold neon (so as not to have any heat impact on the wine) and contains no mercury out of respect for the environment. The Salmanazar also bears an important message: “I contain multitudes”, in the words of the American poet Walt Whitman. “The distinguishing phrases of my works are not based on personal taste, but on the collective. For me, it is interesting to bring together different communities connected by invisible threads,” notes Senatore. 

Some of the 110 large formats embellished by Senatore’s art and the sole Salmanazar will be sold by Sotheby’s in an online auction held between May 22 and June 5, 2024. 

For the sixth consecutive year, the profits will be donated in their entirety by the owners Marchesi Frescobaldi to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to support the Mind’s Eye program, which increases accessibility to art for people who are blind or have low vision through multisensory exploration.  

The original collages, handcrafted by the artist, will form the site-specific work that will be added to Ornellaia’s priceless art collection. Finally, with the aim of sharing Vendemmia d’Artista with its community of collectors, in every case containing six 750ml bottles of Ornellaia 2021, one will feature a special label styled by the artist, as in previous editions.

Ornellaia 2021 was released to the market on April 1, 2024. 

About the 2021 vintage

The mild climate and rainfall in the early part of the year allowed sufficient water reserves to be built up in the soil on the Ornellaia estate. The precious resource was given back to the vines during the hot summer months that were devoid of precipitation. “The generosity of our soil and our team’s meticulous work in the vineyard resulted in a harvest of healthy grapes and great potential,” comments Lamberto Frescobaldi, President of Marchesi Frescobaldi. “In honour of the nobility of this land, Generosità is the character we have chosen for Ornellaia 2021.” Marco Balsimelli, Production Director at Ornellaia, explains how the character of the vintage is conveyed in the glass: “Ornellaia 2021, as always, a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is a deeply expressive and complex wine. Quintessential Mediterranean shrub, juniper berries and blackcurrant aromas are met by considerable density and succulent tannins, which fill the palate with precision, length and sapidity.” 

About Ornellaia 

The name ORNELLAIA stands for the pinnacle of winemaking excellence and is an authentic expression of the beauty of Tuscany. 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, in addition to optimal geological characteristics and an exemplary microclimate, has resulted in critical acclaim and public success within Italy and internationally in little over 35 years. 1985 was the first vintage of Ornellaia. 

About Vendemmia d’Artista

Vendemmia d’Artista started with the 2006 vintage. Every year, a contemporary artist is invited to interpret the character of the vintage by creating a set of works that personalize the bottles. The project includes a number of large-format bottles (double magnums, imperials and a Salmanazar), which are embellished by the artist and auctioned by Sotheby’s. The profits support cultural projects and, for the last six years, have been given in their entirety to the Mind’s Eye program by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, a program designed for individuals who are blind or have low vision to engage with art. Now in its 16th edition, Vendemmia d’Artista is internationally renowned for its cultural and transversal worth. 

About The Mind’s Eye Program

The Mind’s Eye program, created and established by Guggenheim’s Education Department, provides a sensory-based approach to art for the blind and low-vision persons. With the support of all the museum’s departments, the Mind’s Eye program includes verbal descriptions of artworks, sensory objects, creation of artworks, participatory activities and conversations to encourage impressions, emotional connections and memories, whose perception lasts over time. As in art, the appreciation of fine wine requires the involvement of all the senses. Sharing this idea caused Ornellaia to support the development of this particular program. The donations collected through “Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista” enable the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to develop the Mind’s Eye program activities further, with the aim of rolling out the model to other art galleries all over the world. Through digitalization and the Mind’s Eye Sensory Guide, which recreate the visual experience of art by using a specific interactive language, the program has succeeded in reaching an ever-increasing international audience. The Guggenheim distinguishes itself by a commitment to the blind and low-vision community through the Mind’s Eye program. The generous donations made by Ornellaia have enabled the program to be extended to the constellation of Guggenheim museums in Venice and Bilbao, conferring international prestige.

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