Vineyard Estates, New Open-Air Museums…

Yayoi Kusama, Donum Estate, California
Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin, 2014, in the Donum Estate, California

Since ancient times, art and wine have formed a prosperous pair. The institution of the Greek banquet punctuated the political and social life of the citizens. Amphoras, craters, and other cups, canthares, and skyphos, concentrated the production of terracottas. Thus, vines, satyrs, maenads, became the general iconography related to the god of wine, Dionysus, which were represented in abundance.

If in the Middle Ages, these images were Satanized and hidden, the rediscovery of mythology in the Renaissance rekindled enthusiasm for the representations of the bacchanals.In the age of contemporary art, vines have become a new source of inspiration for artists, particularly in Land Art. Symbols of life, they are Edenic landscapes where art can be fully cultivated. Artsper invites you to discover 5 vineyard estates where the alliance of art and vines has never been so fertile…

Château La Coste: the Union of Art, Architecture, and Vines.

The art center by Tadao Ando
The art center by Tadao Ando

Located in Provence, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, Château La Coste is both a vineyard estate and an art gallery in situ.

Here, the creations of the most talented contemporary artists, such as Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, or Jean-Michel Othoniel, as well as internationally renowned architects, such as Jean Nouvel or Renzo Piano, grow between the vines. The “Art and Architecture Promenade” allows you to discover them during a 2-hour tour. It enables to discover all the mysteries and beauty of the place.

In addition, an art center has been built by the prestigious Japanese architect, Tadao Ando. Of great purity with its fine geometric lines and large bay windows, it fits perfectly with the surrounding nature. It host various contemporary art exhibitions.

If you still haven’t made up your mind, its luxury hotel-spa will definitely convince you! It will transform your stay into a most idyllic experience in a place of perfect symbiosis between art and vineyards!

Commanderie de Peyrassol: the First Monumental Sculpture Park in Europe.

The museum of the Commanderie de Peyrassol
The museum of the Commanderie de Peyrassol

A place of history, the Commanderie de Peyrassol was founded in the 13th century by the Order of the Templars.

In 2001, Philippe Austruy, a lover of wine as much as of art, bought this estate in the Var and decided to create a sculpture park there. Thus, on nearly 950 hectares, it is possible to discover about fifty monumental works signed by the greatest visual artists, from Niki de Saint Phalle to Frank Stella, via Arman and Jean Dubuffet. To visit the entire estate, golf carts and horse-drawn carriage rides are available!

A museum featuring a permanent exhibition of more fragile but equally high-quality sculptures completes the estate’s collection. Combining concrete, wood, and stone, the building fits into the landscape without breaking it, while preserving the natural slope of the land. It constitutes, in itself, a sculptural object, adding to the other artistic entities of the place.

With its “Art, wine, and gastronomy”, the Commanderie de Peyrassol is a true place of art de vivre!

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion: the Consecration of the Winery as a Work of Art.

The winery by Philippe Starck and Luc Arsène-Henry
The winery by Philippe Starck and Luc Arsène-Henry

Close to Bordeaux, Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion stands out resolutely from the other vineyard estates in its region.

In 2016, the new winery combines functionalism and aesthetics. While being a state-of-the-art facility for winemaking and conservation, it is a true artistic creation! Taking the shape of an overturned ship’s hull, it bears the memory of the ships leaving the port of Bordeaux to transport wine all over the world at the time of the triangular trade. However, its modern, minimalist and futuristic design is a true technical feature. Consisting of a covering of thin slabs of metal and glass and resting on the bed of the Peuge, the building features a “tapered blade gushing out over the water”, in the words of its architect, Luc Arsène-Henry.

The cellar is underwater. Indeed, each year, an artist is invited to let his imagination run free to decorate its walls. This collection in the making began to be built up with contributions from Ara Starck, daughter of the winery designer Philippe Starck, Sergio Mara, and Beniloys. The metal barrels replacing the canvases make for some of the most sublime and original creations, with the poetry that emanates from them.

It’s not the wine’s fragrances that make you hallucinate: you are literally immersed in a place where wine and art are brought to maturity!

The Yves Gangloff Vineyard Estate: the Art of Winemaking.

Bottles from Yves Gangloff' s vineyard
Bottles from Yves Gangloff’ s vineyard

He is called the “wine artist of Condrieu”. However, nothing foreshadowed this artist in the soul, but a musician, producing each year vintages all as sought-after as the others.

Yves Gangloff inadvertently became an agricultural worker in the 1980s. He developed a taste for winegrowing and after a few years acquired a few plots of land in the Rhône. Initially, while selling the bulk of his production, this genius of the vines kept a small part to experiment with his own vinification. It is only in a second phase that he decides to bottle and market his products under his own name. His wine quickly met with success among oenophiles. He manages to imbue his grape varieties with such sensitivity that the emotions generated by tasting them touch the deepest part of the human being.

But if his wines are works of art, their containers become artistic creations in their own right as well. Indeed, each label constitutes a true painting, of a particular fantasy and originality. Made by the painter Pierre Gangloff, the winegrower’s brother, they turn the bottles from this estate into works of art.

By owning such a piece, it is therefore a whole synesthetic experience that will be given to you!

The Donum Estate: the Most Arty of Wineries.

Sculpture by Zhan Wang in the Donum Estate
Sculpture by Zhan Wang in the Donum Estate

Do you want a total change of scenery? The Donum Estate, located in California is perfect for you. Here again, art and vineyards live in harmony.

Why choose between an art exhibition, a breathtaking landscape, or a good glass of wine separately when it is possible to experiment so simultaneously? This is the experience you are proposing to live The Donum Estate. Since 2015, the owner of the estate has introduced sculptures on his land, considering that wine and art have the ability to connect people from different cultures. Today there are just over 40 creations by renowned artists on the estate. Through various tours一walking, driving, taste-testing, or not一discover the works of Ai Wei Wei, Keith Haring, Louise Bourgeois, and many more! Being at one with the landscape, most of them have been designed to adapt to nature. As a result, visitors become immersed in a poetic, dreamlike environment, making room for everyone’s imagination… A unique multi-sensory and meditative journey!

To conclude, this overview of vineyards with the appearance of open-air galleries reveals that art can be nested where you don’t expect it! Blending particularly well with the vineyard landscapes, it sublimates their natural beauty. At the same time, the works of art benefit from an original environment, which reinforces their evocative power. So if you are an aesthete and a vinophile, don’t think that your passions for art and wine are incompatible. On the contrary, they can be combined, as these 5 exceptional vineyard estates have demonstrated!

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