If the meeting between art and cuisine has become an established and winning duo over the last few years, what can we say then for what is taking shape in the region of Umbria, something even more bewildering? One of the greatest contemporary Italian artists who embarks on an adventure to build a wine cellar is a spectacle we hadn't seen yet. The lead actors: Arnaldo Pomodoro on one side, with his eclectic nature and originality, and the Lunelli household on the other, producers of one of the most famous labels of Italian sparkling wine, Ferrari.
The cooperation, born out of a friendship over thirty years long between the artist and the President emeritus of the company based in Trento, reaches way back in time: The first sketches date back to six years ago. The time needed to conceive, design, and build a structure in the shape of a tortoise-shell, just as huge as it is unique, which staggers over the pleasant Umbrian hills of the municipality of Bevagna, land of the prestigious Sagrantino of Montefalco. The sculptor native of Montefeltro has decided to build his work, "the first in which I will actually be able to enter inside of" as Pomodoro himself has stated, entirely out of wood, a versatile and moldable material, then covered by copper slabs, handcrafted one by one, which give the work an unmistakable color.
The inauguration and ensuing opening to public visits with wine sampling is scheduled in June.
This work of the estate of Castelbuono is rightfully counted amongst the masterpieces designed by so-called "archistars", a trend which has seen Sir Norman Foster be the forerunner, with the Portia wine cellar in Spain. For some years now, the trend has swept Italy. One of the most renowned has been designed by the most famous of Italian architects, Renzo Piano from Genoa, with the wine cellar La Rocca of Frassinello in Grosseto, which is distinguished by a high tower which captures the sunrays and lightens up, thanks to a series of mirrors, the grand amphitheater with large steps and, in the middle of the wine cellar, the barrel chamber, with over 2,500 barriques in oak wood.
Another noteworthy example is the one conceived by Studio Valle Progettazione, with the Icarius Wine Cellar in Montepulciano. The structure, which basically has no openings, reflects the Tuscan rural style on the outside, while its interior responds to more modern architectural dictates, in the pursuit of functional principles.
This cooperation promote a new vision of wine & food tourism which is based on a total experience of immersion in the world of wine. Everything starts off from the assumption that the level of knowledge and the number of those who actually know the favorite beverage of the wine god Bacchus has grown exponentially over the last few years, and these former novices are no longer satisfied with opening the bottle and savoring the product, but want to touch with their hands and see with their own eyes the process by which a grape cluster turns into a full-blown wine. If we also add the pleasure of achieving all of the above within a unique master-work, a true work of art and not any old industrial shed: there, everything falls into place.