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Allegrini 2018
WINE AND ART

Nittardi: 40 years of artists’ labels beyond any label (and stereotype) in the wine world

Chianti Classico brand celebrates its liaison with art, from Dario Fo to Yoko Ono to the “Nittardi International Prize”

Beyond the wine, beyond the material, there is something called “vision”: it is one of the natural laws of the business world and has the power to bring something new into the world. Great wines, icons and myths form the backbone of the cultural fabric of an entire country, as do the wine territories that, over the years, have settled in the world like fairy tales, alive in the songs and stories of writers of all times from Jeffrey Choser to Marco Vichi. Both evoke Tuscany, a region where art and wine are complementary, together to overcome the duality between the material wine and the intangible art. In one that in turn creates the landscape, marvelous, between cypresses and sunsets, Florentine cotto and wild woods, in hues shaded by orange and purple on the sunsets of each season, despite the climate change that bites and frightens farmers.

In the fairy tale of this time lies Chianti Classico, made great above all by its estates. In a small wine-producing county comparable to the Châteaux of Lower Occitania, where business models are similar to those of British “shires”, and elegance of manners and linguistic expressions meets the manufacturing style of clothes and fabrics worked by local artisans. Chianti Classico, where art and viticulture are sisters and often meet. Still from 1716, the year when the enlightened Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, listening to his highly trained agronomists, decided to sanction a proclamation to preserve and protect the quality of a symbol: the wine of Tuscany, Chianti in its unity. Today there are more Tuscans, in all its areas, from Montalcino to Bolgheri, the Maremma and Casentino, Montepulciano and San gimignano, to name a few.

In such a fresco, one cannot miss the art of patronage, which cannot and must not disappear from the news. For art, like wine, advances civilization. And so, Tuscany, has always been the destination of choice for those who, as outsiders, wanted to invest in the territory, by way of art. From Michelangelo’s time to the present day, for a Tuscany that in the midst of a thousand difficulties tries to see into the present, into works of art. From the Castello di Ama to the Pecci Museum in Prato, from galleries to festivals featuring artists from all over the world. And finally the wineries, from producers who see in the goblet the value of a vision rather than a technical product, with the heart in the vineyard and the surrounding environment.
Producers like the Femfert Canali family, which in Chianti Classico invests and cares for the vineyards, producing wines of superlative quality under the Nittardi label. And when a reality turns 40 years old, it means that the value of its wine and business model is concrete and of virtue for the whole territory. Consequently, where there is harmony, art can flourish, which in Nittardi is a constant, and it is so in its labels that go beyond the label, in which art has been written and imprinted since 1981, and is still alive, by great and important names, capable of leaving a free and inspiring trace for every human being. The labels signed Pierre Alechinsky, Corneille, Dario Fo, Karl Otto Götz, Günter Grass, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Mimmo Paladino, Fabrizio Plessi and Mikis Theodorakis or Yoko Ono, in whose case the absence of graphic sign reigns in favor of a simple “Imagine”-style poem, do not go unnoticed.

Breathtaking are the forty labels hanging on the walls of Palazzo Coveri, on Lungarno Guicciardini, on display in the gallery run by Beatrice Cifuentes Sarmiento, where art is made contemporary, in the sense that the artists exhibiting are still, almost all of them, alive. So for the 40th anniversary of the Vigna Doghessa, the Nittardi International Prize is staged in Florence today: a case of 6 bottles of Chianti Classico Vigna Doghessa 2020, dressed with 6 different labels and wrapped in 6 different silk paper - intended for passionate collectors of Nittardi wine - signed by the winning artists of the Nittardi International Prize - Olle Borg, Fausto Maria Franchi, Andreas Floudas-Zygouras, Chiara Mazzotti, Ulrike Seyboth and Pengpeng Wang -, and a magnum “dressed” by Roberto Maria Lino, who received the Honor Prize. The label, in this case, at the hands of a family that brings to the world of wine a brushstroke of the art world, goes beyond all labels and stereotypes, marketing reasoning and frontier opportunism, translates into a free and strong communication flywheel, able to bring, through the bottle a vibration before a simple graphic sign, a life of an artist more than a portfolio, the wine in this case, in addition to the quality symbol of Made in Italy, carries the strength of a message that does not look to today but to the future.

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