Ornellaia 2015 vintage auction raises £123,000

Ornellaia 2015 vintage auction raises £123,000

An auction of limited edition Ornellaia 2015 wines with special designs by South African artist William Kentridge has raised £123,000 for the Victoria & Albert museum in London. Additional reporting by John Stimpfig.

Ornellaia auction
The Unique Salmanazar by William Kentridge

Ornellaia holds a charity auction for its latest vintage release each year and, last week, the latest dinner and auction was held by Sotheby’s at the Victoria and Albert museum, with 320 guests attending.

South African artist William Kentridge is this year’s ‘Vendemmia d’Artista’ – or artist of the vintage – for Ornellaia, which is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its first vintage with the 2015 release.  The 2015 art project is entitled ‘Il Carisma’.

Kentridge designed a site-specific masterpiece for the estate, with 111 large-format bottles carrying special edition labels.

This includes a one-off label for a single Salmanazar bottle – nine litres – using circular anamorphic digital print (pictured top).

There were nine lots of Ornellaia wines at the Sotheby’s-hosted auction.

The top lot was the Salmanzar 2015 plus an overnight stay at Ornellaia for six guests, including a vertical tasting and dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant in Bolgheri. This went for £50,000 to an Austrian collector.

‘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,’ said Axel Heinz, winemaker and estate director of Ornellaia.

Vendemmia d’Artista projects

It was the 10th edition of the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project.

For the 2014 vintage, Ornellaia commissioned Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto for the designs. 

Other previous artists include Yutaka Sone, John Armleder, Rodney Graham and Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Over the last decade, more than one million euros have been raised at the charity auctions of these wines, said the Frescobaldi family-owned estate.

Other museums and foundations that have benefited include the Whitney Museum in New York, the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the H2 Foundation in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and the Royal Opera House in London.

This year, all proceeds are to go to the Victoria & Albert’s new photography centre. The museum has collected photography since the 1850s.

The first phase of the new Centre will open in October 2018 and will double the existing space dedicated to photography and reestablish it as one of the museum’s defining collections.


See also: Masseto wines for your cellar – Published in 2017 and tasted by Susan Hulme MW

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