Ornellaia 2015 “Il Carisma”


“Like people of great ‘Carisma’ (Charisma), wines of great vintages know how to impose themselves naturally, without force, their balance allowing them to shine without having to flaunt themselves.”  

Ornellaia are celebrating a milestone year on the estate, commemorating their 30th vintage, and with it an exceptional growing year, the likes of which we have not seen for some time. It is only fitting that this vintage coincides with such an important anniversary.

The 2015 vintage of Ornellaia immediately exhibited characteristics of great Charisma, a theme that the Estate thus decided to attribute to it since it fits so wondrously well.

Since the release of Ornellaia 2006 in May 2009, Vendemmia d’Artista celebrates the unique character of each new vintage of Ornellaia. A contemporary artist creates a site-specific work of art and a series of limited edition labels, drawing inspiration from the word chosen by the Winemaker to describe the character of the new vintage.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Vendemmia d’Artista project and to interpret the character “Il Carisma” (Charisma), Ornellaia invited South African artist William Kentridge, internationally

acclaimed for his drawings, films, sculptures, animations and performances, which he uses to transmute sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. The artist created a site-specific masterpiece for the Estate, customized a limited series of 111 large-format bottles, and designed a special label, an example of which will be found in each case containing six 750ml bottles of Ornellaia.

The images on the Ornellaia labels are essentially about the work of making wine, and mainly of the vendemmia, the grape harvest,” recalls the artist. “The secateurs come from a memory of the one occasion I took part in a Tuscan vendemmia, when with my family I spent six months in San Casciano outside Florence. This made me understand the human labour involved in making the wine; though what I remember most strongly is the pleasure of the lunch prepared in the vineyards by the local farmer’s wife. A depth of flavour made by the combination of work and terroir.

 The aspects of wine-making that combine both manual craft and mechanical processes suggested the transformation of people into machines and machines into workers. This is part of an ongoing series of drawings and other work about human labour. The drawings are done on pages from various old Italian cash books found in flea markets and second-hand shops in the Tuscan area.” William Kentridge.

On 23 May, the spotlight will be focused on Ornellaia at a benefit auction featuring 9 lots, which will include the special bottles created by William Kentridge for the Ornellaia 2015 Il Carisma - Vendemmia d’Artista. Mr Stephen Mould, Sotheby’s Senior Director - Head of European Wine.

Department, will preside at a gala dinner and auction that will raise funds to be donated in their entirety to the host sponsoring the event, the V&A, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, directed by MrTristram Hunt.

Sephen Mould continues, “I admire how William Kentridge interprets Ornellaia 2015 “Il Carisma” through his allegorical language – the artworks he has created for the bottles and the estate transform the spirit of Ornellaia through visual art and make concrete his interpretation of Ornellaia 2015’s character.


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