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The millenary history of Tenuta San Leonardo in dialogue with contemporary art

The “Arte a San Leonardo” project is born, complete with a label and an artist’s book dedicated to the estate’s symbol, an oenological gem of Trentino

Bringing together the ultra-centennial history and identity of Tenuta San Leonardo - a thousand-year-old abbey that became the residence of the Marquis Guerrieri Gonzaga three centuries ago, and held with 300 hectares of land, 30 of which are vineyards - with the languages of contemporary art and the artists’ gaze. The “Arte a San Leonardo” project was born from the will of the owners of the historic estate in the heart of Trentino, Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga and Ilaria Tronchetti Provera, and released in the limited edition of artist’s book of 120 copies - with suspended images between dream and reality by Simone Berti for the coordination of Giovanna Amadasi - and in the artist’s label conceived by Berti for San Leonardo 2018, the last commercial vintage of one of the great Italian wines, born from the will of Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, father by Alberto, and by the genius of Giacomo Tachis. A well-rooted tree that transforms into a cup above the stem, a symbol of tasting but also, traditionally, a symbol of life, which will adorn 999 numbered bottles, 600 of which will comprise 200 lots in wooden boxes of three bottles. A one-of-a-kind item that will be available exclusively online and for only two days, March 21 and 22 (at https://www.honestgrapes.co.uk/arteasanleonardo).
This union of San Leonardo and art, which is destined to last because, as announced by Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga, “we want to create a library with books that, starting this year, will each tell a year of the company’s life, seen through the eyes of an artist”, was presented in the splendor of Palazzo Taverna in Rome, with the producers, the artist Simone Berti, and the project’s curator, Giovanna Amadasi. On this occasion, and wearing the Berti label, the company’s symbolic wine, San Leonardo, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, and Merlot, was also presented; the 2018 harvest will be available on March 21. “Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga emphasized a high-level harvest, which resulted in an intense but balanced and very fresh wine, as is our style. It is already very enjoyable, but as with all San Leonardo, it will gain complexity and depth over time, as it is in the soul of the grapes that make it up, in decreasing percentage: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot”.
The artist’s book that inaugurated the “Art at San Leonardo” project bears the title of “Waiting is not wasted time”, underscoring the common thread that links the process of creating a work of art (Berti immersed himself in the life of the winery for a year, intervening in the topical moments of the grape harvest and the creation of the wine and establishing an intense relationship with the workers, ed.) with the production of a wine of excellence like San Leonardo. “But the commonality between art and wine is also in the uniqueness of the project as well as that of each vintage”, stressed Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga and Ilaria Tronchetti Provera, “the cyclical nature of a time that repeats itself in a different way each time, the ability to combine research and innovation with craftsmanship. Time and nature are the leitmotifs that animate Simone Berti’s 34 artist images that punctuate the book. The natural element is represented by vegetation that gradually occupies all the spaces connecting people, objects and architecture, transforming an everyday environment into a dreamlike landscape. An element, the vegetal one, which is also at the center of the artist’s label: “working on the San Leonardo wine label was a small challenge”, Berti said, “that of creating an image that was in line with my research but at the same time recalled the characteristics of a very characterized product like San Leonardo”.
“I like this label so much”, Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga told Winenews, “seeing a living element with roots inside the label excited me, because, let’s remember, wine is alive and made by plants. Berti’s love for plants, brought us very much together during the creation of the artist’s book. This first union with art, for me and my wife, was a great thrill, it gave us so many ideas, it makes us see things and details that you hadn’t noticed before, and to which even more attention and respect will be paid in the future”.
“It was an extremely interesting and fruitful exchange”, Ilaria Tronchetti Provera remarked, to Winenews, “for the whole company. The artist Berti inserted himself in our community, talked to people and involved them in the shots. This project was born from the desire to give and receive, to see San Leonardo from another point of view, and then the artist’s point of view is never taken for granted. Berti has, in fact, brought out an unpublished part of St. Leonard, and more will come out in the next editions of our artist’s books”.

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