Allegrini 2018

In Montalcino the interactive museum “Il Tempio del Brunello”

In the fourteenth-century Cloister of Sant’Agostino, the project signed by Opera Laboratori, a leader in Italy in museum services

On one side the millenary artistic richness of the territory, on the other the agricultural and food and wine richness, represented by Brunello di Montalcino in primis, but not only. Two pillars of the economy and history of Montalcino, one of the most important wine territories in the world, that now begin a path of mutual and common valorization, with the project “The Temple of Brunello”. An innovative and immersive museum, born in the 14th century Monumental Complex of Sant’Agostino in Montalcino, destination of millions of wine tourists every year, and that unites history, archaeology, art, culture and landscape, but also commerce, craftsmanship and the promotion of the other precious products of the territory (from honey to saffron, from oil to truffles, from organic pasta to plums) with the direction and private investment of Opera Laboratori, a leading company in museum services for museums ranging from the Uffizi to the Vatican Museums, from the Archaeological Park of Pompeii and Herculaneum to the Royal Palace of Caserta, from the Cathedral of Siena to that of Spoleto, which promoted it in the project “L’Oro di Montalcino” (The Gold of Montalcino), together with the Municipality of Montalcino, the Consorzio del Brunello and the Archdiocese of Siena, Colle di Val d'Elsa and Montalcino.
A technological museum, made of multimedia visors to “fly” over the territory like a drone, of interactive multimedia installations, where visitors to the Temple can transform the colors of Montalcino into Pollock-style digital works, or see the differences in the evolution of wine over time, films with the historical voices of Brunello di Montalcino, with a wine shop, also multimedia and interactive, with information on the types of Montalcino wines, a multimedia table that recommends wines based on the “emotions” chosen by the visitor, and a dehors destined also to the tasting of wines of the local wineries and products of the high agriculture of Montalcino, that, as the president of Opera Laboratori, Giuseppe Costa, explains to WineNews, “is the beginning of a journey, because here more than anywhere else it is possible to combine business, culture and territory. As we already do with the nearby millenary Abbey of Sant’Antimo, without distorting its sense and its religious and intimate value. The idea of the “Oro di Montalcino” project and of the “Temple” was born with the Archdiocese of Siena-Colle Val d'Elsa-Montalcino, and obviously together with the Consorzio del Brunello, in order to revalue this splendid complex, giving it a broader sense, where one can admire ancient works, thousands of years old, and tell the story of the life that exists around Brunello di Montalcino, but also other agricultural experiences of the territory”.
“We are convinced that the journey of wine does not end with a glass - adds the president of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, Fabrizio Bindocci - but it is more and more an important phenomenon also from a cultural point of view. This project makes us enthusiastic because the Temple of Brunello is not only a modern and interactive museum, but also a deeply representative experience of its territory that will give added value to the promotional activity that the Consorzio itself already carries out for the entire socio-economic system of Montalcino”. “After a year and a half of pandemic in which our energies were concentrated on supporting the community - affirms the Mayor of Montalcino, Silvio Franceschelli - we have also looked to the future and this project is new lifeblood for us. Montalcino wants to be reborn, now is the time. Working together with the Archdiocese and the Consorzio del Brunello, with the operational arm of Opera Laboratori, we intend not only to promote our territory through an innovative formula that can effectively welcome visitors, but also to create within the complex of Sant'Agostino new stimuli and cultural spaces for the Montalcino community where art, history, music, craftsmanship and products of excellence can merge with the productive culture in an organic project”. “The Temple of Brunello - explains, again to WineNews, Maddalena Sanfilippo (Opera Laboratori) - is part of the macro-project “Oro di Montalcino” (Gold of Montalcino), and is a path that has exploited the most advanced technologies available today, but open and projected towards constant innovation, to keep up with the times, to ride them, with apps and multimedia tools that, besides Brunello and its territory, also tell about the works of art and monuments”.
The experience of “Oro di Montalcino” begins, therefore, in the former Monumental Complex of Sant'Agostino, the millenary and cultural heart of the town. The former convent, dating back to the 13th century, when the presence of the first Augustinian fathers is documented in Montalcino, develops next to the church dedicated to Saints Philip and James, known as Saint Augustine, a treasure chest of precious frescoes of the Sienese school of the second half of the 14th century, reopened for worship on July 2nd, after a long period of restoration. The welcoming and meditative dimension of InChiostro, the first covered cloister of the former convent, represents the starting point of the various experiential routes: from here, thanks to the application “L'Oro di Montalcino”, it will be possible to be guided inside the church of Sant'Agostino presented by a video in which Don Enrico Grassini, head of the Archdiocesan Cultural Heritage Office, introduces the historical and artistic beauties. The visit then continues inside the suggestive underground Archaeological Museum, illustrated in first person by the archaeologists, Luca Cappuccini, Luigi Donati and Jacopo Tabolli, who discovered and studied the Etruscan finds preserved, mostly coming from the nearby Poggio Civitella, the only example of an Etruscan fortress still existing today. From Inchiostro you can then access the Civic and Diocesan Museum Collections, a rich collection of wooden statues and 'gold backgrounds' of the Sienese school, owned by the municipality and coming from the churches of the ancient diocese, enriched by a large collection of archaic majolica of the thirteenth century and the ancient works of the nearby Abbey of Sant'Antimo. The notes of a young Montalcino flutist, Cecilia Cuglitore, will accompany the historical and artistic commentary of the most representative paintings. The video interview with Professor Bruno Bonucci will trace a historical profile from medieval Montalcino to the contemporary age, highlighting the productive, artisan and entrepreneurial vocation of the Montalcino community from its embryonic state to the Brunello economy.
From Inchiostro the experience of discovering the luxuriant territory of Montalcino begins: stations with virtual reality viewers called “InVolo” will allow you to immerse yourself in villas and castles, breathtaking views of the urban center, small villages of the vast and diverse municipal territory. If in the fourteenth-century frescoes with the Effects of Good Government Ambrogio Lorenzetti ventured into a new form of expression of painting to glide over the Sienese countryside “from a bird’s eye view” in order to present its beauty and productivity, in Montalcino today the most modern technologies allow one to experience the wonders of the territory through a new look that embraces the landscape from the light of dawn to that of sunset; Thus, once the itinerary inside the complex of Sant’Agostino has been completed, the real experience of visiting the historical center and the countryside outside the castle walls, along the different sides of the hill, can be envisaged and encouraged.
Passing through the uncovered cloister, the one once called the “summer cloister” of the monastery, one descends into the Temple of Brunello; going down the staircase, one perceives a change in the level of depth, a gradation of climate, from light to darkness, while the sounds of the cellar also refer to the “gradation” of the wine: the deeper the affiliation of Brunello to the territory of Montalcino, the more conscious and distinctive the personality of the wine. The Temple of Brunello, whose installation has been realized by Opera Laboratori and for the multimedia part by Ett, a leading company in the museum and digital innovation sectors respectively, is located in the underground rooms of the former convent, adjacent to the headquarters of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello. The contribution of the Consorzio to the project, thanks to the competent and generous advice of vice-president Stefano Cinelli Colombini and the authoritative scientific curatorship of Gabriele Gorelli, the first Italian Master of Wine, a Montalcino pride, played a primary and decisive role.
“With the Gold of Montalcino and the Temple of Brunello - adds the president of Opera Laboratori, Giuseppe Costa - we wanted to combine the experience acquired in over twenty years of museum management with the competence and sensitivity of those who have accompanied us along this path. I would like to thank the Archdiocese of Siena for the renewed trust it has placed in us in the valorization of their patrimony through the constant dialogue between art and spirituality, the Municipality of Montalcino for the institutional support that has never failed and the entire structure of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino for the professionalism shown and the commitment lavished. A heartfelt thank you, finally, goes to the Opera laboratories that developed and realized the project in all its aspects, from cultural production to technical planning, from staging to visual communication, from promotion to hospitality”.
Next to the Consorzio del Brunello, therefore, inside what used to be the Rex, the old Montalcino cinema, it is as if the secret of Brunello, the true “king” of the territory, is now kept. It is approached through immersive videos that evoke the four pillars, that is, the founding concepts that have determined the uniqueness of Montalcino wine: the land, the biodiversity of the territory, the climate, the work of the people, their belief in it and their know-how from the point of view of respect for tradition, scrupulous and humble daily life and a lucid perspective on the future. These concepts will be reaffirmed by the clarity of the “Voices of Brunello”, an exchange of words between those in the world of Brunello who have brought novelty and positive energy, just real people, as representatives of an authentic community. As the rows of vines, green furrows on the ground, mark and draw the territory of Montalcino, one proceeds to the next space, called Quadro divino, where the visitor can leave the “sign” of his experience along the way and bring into play his creativity, developing the sensations and suggestions received in previous experiences. Quadro divino, therefore, is the sign of the experience on the visitor, who in turn is invited to leave his or her own mark on the place, a bit like the path he or she took through the territory to get to Montalcino. The colors, images and atmospheres are presented here in a true color palette, the visual identity of Montalcino, to be used in a free and emotional way. Each visitor will be able to create, through touch stations, their own artistic composition, which can be sent to the wall and shared via email and social networks. The third hypogeal environment, supported by ogival arches, whose shapes recall an overturned goblet, is Calix. Here, through the technique of mapping accompanied by evocative sounds created specifically for the Temple of Brunello, the visitor will find himself immersed in an experience of strong emotional impact: artistic masterpieces will be presented, expressions of the inspiration and creative work that the land of Montalcino has been able to instill in man. From the landscape of the Effects of Good Government we move on to the fourteenth-century tables of the Miracle of the Wedding at Cana and the Last Supper where wine is served in ceramics similar to those preserved inside the Montalcino Museum. The projection ends with Vincenzo Tamagni's Madonna della Misericordia (Our Lady of Mercy) which ideally protects the whole territory of Montalcino, evoking the deep Marian devotion of the area. Going up again, we arrive in the light of the uncovered cloister where it will be possible to share and conclude the experience, talking about culture, art and wine while sipping a glass of Brunello at the Enoteca Bistrot Caffetteria del Tempio del Brunello. A place of convivial divulgation where it is possible to approach wine knowledge at all levels. Through the mobile application device, in fact, it will be possible to answer a series of questions about one's temperament in order to guide the visitor in the choice of the Brunello more in line with one's personality. Visitors will then be guided by professional sommeliers and by a multilingual digital sommelier, who will allow them to grasp the gestures and rituals that accompany the tasting, outlining the organoleptic characteristics of Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino. Moving from Inchiostro back to the exit, through the mobile application, four video interviews will illustrate the golds of Montalcino. Honey, saffron, oil and truffles will be presented by Federico Ciacci, Marzio Saladini, Carlo Alberto Bindi and Paolo Valdambrini who will talk about the properties, the history, the tradition of the four products, principles of the territory.
Which will be visited even more thoroughly through the ad hoc mobile application, “Ori di Montalcino”, with which the visitor will be guided to the major points of interest geolocated and commented on by text cards, audio, photo gallery and video that will integrate the visit: From the Cathedral of San Salvatore to the Palazzo Comunale of Montalcino, from the Abbey of Sant’Antimo to San Giovanni d’Asso, land of truffles, from the Castle of Poggio alle Mura to San Michele, lost in the woods, from Abbadia Ardenga to Montisi, it will be possible to embrace the entire municipal territory that offers itself with pride and authenticity in its heart.

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