Ornellaia sets record of over 105,000 EUR for the sale of a single bottle of Italian wine during an auction conducted by Sotheby's London

The fifth year of the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project: Michelangelo Pistoletto interprets “La Celebrazione” for Ornellaia 2010 and its 25th anniversary.

OrnellaiaA total of over 280,000 EUR was raised, to benefit the Royal Opera House Foundation, from the sale of eight large format bottles of Ornellaia 2010, customized by artist Michelangelo Pistoletto.

This record breaking auction, held May 16th at the Royal Opera House in London, celebrated 25 years of Ornellaia wine from Bolgheri. The sale of the 9L Salmanazar for 80,000 GBP (ca. 105,000 EUR) set a record for the single highest price ever paid for a single bottle of Italian wine at auction

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary, each and every bottle of Ornellaia 2010 has been decorated with a special logo, silk-screened in gold and ivory. Ornellaia commissioned Michelangelo Pistoletto, one of Italy’s most important and influential artists, to interpret ‘La Celebrazione’ for Vendemmia d’Artista Ornellaia 2010. The artist created labels for an extremely limited and individually-signed and numbered series of large-size bottles: 100 Double Magnums (3 litre), 10 Imperials (6 litre) and a unique Salmanazar (9 litre). 8 of these bottles were auctioned off at a charity auction organized by Sotheby’s of London

Ornellaia was the star of a benefit auction that featured 8 of the custom bottles created by Michelangelo Pistoletto for the Vendemmia d’Artista Ornellaia 2010 at a gala dinner at London’s Royal Opera House on 16 May, which raised 282.695 EUR. During the evening, Stephen Mould, Senior Director and Head of the European Wine Department of Sotheby’s, conducted a charity auction of these lots: the one-of-a-kind Salmanazar (9 litres), three Imperials (6 litres), and four Double Magnums (3 litres), all unique Pistoletto art pieces. The total proceeds, amounting to 282.695 EUR, were donated to the Royal Opera House Foundation.

“A correlation exists between the cultures of wine and art, between Venus and Bacchus,” states Michelangelo Pistoletto. “Neither of them has a practical function, but both are undoubtedly powerful in activating the human spirit. Many artists have found in wine a source of inspiration; it propels the mind towards imagination, fantasy, and towards truth too—in vino is truly veritas. The mirror, in particular, expresses truth and stimulates the imagination. I decided to utilise the mirror for the Ornellaia project, creating its profile through curving, sensuous lines that transgress the traditional square shape of a wine label. I wanted this artwork to be fluid, flexible, dynamic, just like the flowing movement of a thought.”

“In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ornellaia, we have created exclusively for vintage Ornellaia 2010 a special logo which is silk-screened in gold and ivory on each and every bottle, providing a unique and truly memorable experience” says Giovanni Geddes, CEO of ORNELLAIA. "The Vendemmia d'Artista project aims at re-establishing the tradition and value of Renaissance artistic patronage in a modern key. Every year we commission an internationally renowned artist to produce a work of art and an extremely limited number of special labels that are in themselves works of art, and which capture the essence of the vintage and its personality. In the past four editions of Ornellaia Vendemmia D'Artista we have raised over one million euro through auctions of these special bottles, which have been donated to institutions related to the Arts. For the 2010 edition we have commissioned Michelangelo Pistoletto to celebrate the 25th anniversary. This edition’s proceeds will benefit the Royal Opera House of London”.

“Ornellaia 2010 is the 25th anniversary blockbuster - this will make everyone sit up,” says Serena Sutcliffe, MW Head of Sotheby’s International wine department. “And, in due course, drink up. From its dense, dark colour to its drenched berries nose, full of primary fruit, this is concentration in huge, velvety form. Coats the palate in majestic style.”

Michelangelo Pistoletto’s creation encapsulates the fundamental theme of his art: the mirror. The spiral that entwines itself around the Double Magnum bottle; the sculpted, three-dimensional spiral on the one-of-a-kind Salmanazar; and the varying forms of the Imperial bottle labels are all made of a special reflective material that is intimately connected with the motifs that the artist has been developing since the early 1960s. On the 3- and 9-litre bottles, the spiral creates a sense of infinity, with the artist ultimately conveying a spiritual expression. The 6-litre bottle labels are unique and represent a different composition of a 10-piece puzzle, each one with a different missing element. For the artist, the mirror, with its infinite forms, reflects both the spectator and the surrounding environment, introducing into the artwork a temporal dimension (www.25anni.ornellaia.com). The Art Curators for the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project are Bartolomeo Pietromarchi and Maria Alicata.