Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Art & Wine in Tuscany

I think by now I've made my point of view quite clear - I think of wine being so much more than a beverage of simple or more complex nature. People who work in the wine industry are usually driven by a passion that somehow got them caught up in dealing with wine professionally. Often people have incredibly diverse backgrounds, not necessarily with a scientific approach but often a bit more artsy which gives a little romance to the business.

Some may argue that wine is art in itself, and I'm not contrary to the thought.
But here by talking of art I'm thinking more in the direction of visual arts...sculptures, painting and the like. Some winery owners are artists themselves, and others collect art to display on their already beautiful estates.

So here's a list of a few wineries that come to mind if you love art & wine, and want to discover wineries in Tuscany that have an inclination to both!

Castello di Romitorio (Montalcino) - Renowned artist Sandro Chia was the founder of this respectable winery in Montalcino. The new cantina is quite artistic and also the labels of Castello di Romitorio have always stood out with the artsy nude bacchus inviting to another glass of Brunello!

Fattoria Nittardi (Castellina in Chianti) - The winery is like a contemporary art playground with a giant chess game and statues of various artists in display all around the property. Even some vats inside the winery have been painted decoratively. Every year a famous artist is commissioned to paint the label of the pure Sangiovese Chianti Classico, real collectors' labels!

Maté (Montalcino) - Visit this excellent Brunello producer in the South of Montalcino with owner Candace's art directly on the labels of her wines. She tells that she used to paint and now she makes wine, simply because making wine is so time-consuming, but she's stil an artist at heart! Candace lives in the most picturesque house ever - if you get lucky you can maybe get her to give you a peak inside!

Torre Alberghieri (Impruneta) - Here you can not just enjoy the happy art made by the owners Rodolfo & Roberto, but also enjoy a private painting class (whilst drinking wine) and the end of which you have a piece of art to take with you home and enjoy forever! See this link for more details & prices.

Casato Prime Donne (Montalcino) - owned by talented Donatella Cinelli Colombini who every year adds a piece of art of contemporary Tuscan artists, yet to become famous. The pieces are displayed around the estate and can be enjoyed by visiting the grounds, there's even a vineyard trek that one can do which is a really nice winery activity!

Castello di Ama (Gaiole in Chianti) - at Ama the art runs in the veins as much as the wine does. The contemporary art shown during the tour of the estate is magnificent and stands up to the beautiful wines produced at the estate. Definitely worth an outing and now there is even a restaurant at the estate, so all your senses can be indulged!

Molino di Grace (Panzano in Chianti) - founded by an American art collector who wanted to do with wine what he did with art, and now around 20 yrs later he's been able to prove that he was indeed able to do so. You can admire some statues around the modern cellar and the winery is easily accessible off of the road from Panzano that goes to Radda.

Personally not a huge art buff, I do love when the art gets witsy and when it has an element of wine stuff in it - that's to me the ultimate art!