A compiled list of a few vineyards by art lovers - The arts and wine have many things in common
Are winemakers artists? Is wine a work of art? The arts and wine have many things in common, so it is not surprising that there is an increasing number of vineyards that associate wine and art. Aside from how wine tastes, wine is also purchased as an investment, seen as a symbol that represents the financial and cultural position of a buyer. The same can be said for art, it’s more than just how it visually looks and make a buyer feel; some artworks are never hung on the walls but stored safely in a warehouse somewhere in the world. The most well-known may be the Geneva Freeport, the oldest and largest freeport warehouse for the storage of art and other valuables. It is reported to hold an art collection worth US 100 billion.
Considering the complexity, expertise and cost it takes to install large pieces of artworks in remote areas, which vineyards usually are, below is a compiled list of a few vineyards by art lovers that may be worth the special trip to visit in the future.
Château La Coste, France
Château La Coste in Provence, France has been steadily introducing world-class architecture and art on its 600-acre grounds. From its purchase and relocation of the 2008 Serpentine Pavilion by Frank Gehry to its grounds to site-specific small buildings, Château La Coste not only operates as a vineyard but is also available to stay in, dine in at the fine dining restaurant or cafe, as well as a well-curated art and architecture trail. Some would call the trail a sculpture park, but Château La Coste's owner prefers other terms for it. Established by Irish hotelier and investor Paddy McKillen, Château La Coste only began its operations in 2011. Within one decade, the grounds of Château La Coste now hosts small buildings, pavilions, sculptures and artworks from world-renown architects and artists. Tadao Ando and Louise Bourgeois just to name a few.
If I could safely travel to Europe right now, it's a top spot that I'd like to visit.
Situated in Franciacorta, Italy's equivalent of the champagne region in France, L'Albereta is located close to Milan, yet feels miles away from the hustle and bustle of a city. A decade ago, I knew nothing about this region and associated high quality sparkling wine exclusive to French champagne, it was such a treat to discover Franciacorta. All wine bearing the name of Franciacorta wine is obtained only from grapes grown in this area, boundaries clearly marked.
In 1993, the family of Vittorio Moretti set up Villa Cavalleri into a resort. The family has been running Bellavista Estate and Winery since 1977. Within that villa, there are old master paintings that are still kept in place until today. With Vittorio Moretti's love and sponsor in contemporary art, the Sculpture Park in L'Albereta's grounds is also home to the work for an international sculpture competition. Whilst the art is not as widely promoted as some of the others on this list, the Parco delle Sculture di Franciacorta hosts contemporary art sculptures across 61,000 hectares from L'Albereta, nearby vineyards including Bellavista and other parklands. The park was created following the International Third Millennium Sculpture Award organised and sponsored by the Terra Moretti Group and supported by Italy's Ministry of Heritage.
The Donum Estate, United States
Art, a beautiful landscape and a great glass of wine create a very powerful experience. It is much more powerful than the three enjoyed separately.
The Donum Estate's founder, president and winegrower Anne Moller-Racke said in an article by Forbes. She's quite right here; the combination of these different aspects creates an experience that is stronger than simply visiting an art gallery with a glass of wine at hand. Often, the art installation is also site-specific in these unique locations mentioned, The Donum Estate is not an exception to this. In the Donum Estate, one of the most captivating ones that I have only seen on photos is Doug Aitken's commission. The final structure by Doug Aitken is the Sonic Mountain, which I think truly celebrates the landscape of the grounds, as well as the natural elements as the structure interacts with the Californian breeze, feeding back nature's gift through the sound generated from the site-specific structure.
Today, the estate has a collection of mostly commissioned pieces. With over 40 large-scale, open-air sculptures, each of them is a collaboration between the owners and the artists to create a considered piece that fits within the landscape.
Whether it is vineyards with art or art for vineyards, the creative expression - a winemaker's expression through wine or an artist's sculpture through a chosen medium, its mutual understanding and appreciation can’t be missed. These vineyards by art lovers provide a space for us to find our own interpretation by welcoming us who are interested to immerse ourselves in the experience for a few hours, or in some cases like in L’Albereta and Château La Coste, to experience some of the best wine plus fine dinings and living with art for a few days.
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