Amo, Amas, Castello di Ama

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, I love, you love, we all love that Chianti from the Castle of Love that is Castello di Ama!

And what a spectacular day greeted us for celebrating the latest acquisition in the vignerons’ collection of contemporary art. Starting with the drive up from nearby Siena, magnificent vistas welcome you at every curve.

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How can anything but great wine grow in a landscape like this?

While I have been enjoying Castello di Ama’s Chianti and Merlot blends for decades now, I admit, this was my first site inspection, and what a treat!

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Appropriately named, the Bellavista Vineyard offers a beautiful view!

The unveiling of the new addition to Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Palanti’s collection of contemporary art, a piece by the American artist Roni Horn, below, was an excuse to see the entire collection.

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No, it is not a hot tub, and it is not made of ice, but it is inviting…

The place and the people are welcoming.

These works of art somehow all fit together with the landscape and historical buildings.

You would never imagine, looking at that altar, what might be behind… Like this fascinating work by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Zero.

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The allure of these pieces is that they are interactive: you enter, you walk around, the textures and spaces speak to you. And Castello di Ama follows up with stunningly printed pamphlets and catalogues, like this cleverly titled Confession of Zero (playing on the title of the famous Italian novel Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo).

Here is another engaging work, Carlos Garaicoa’s provocative Yo no quiero ver mas a mis vecinos, a composition of walls and a timely reminder…

But I had the most fun playing with this wall of mirrors by French artist Daniel Buren.

It was a through-the-looking-glass kind of day.

Seriously, I will have to read up on the artists and works, because the sensorial experience of being in all that art while sipping the delicious fruits of enologist Marco Palanti’s labors, was heady stuff!

Of course, I didn’t miss my photo opportunity with Marco, who must be one part chemist and two parts artist, certainly an interesting blend, kind of like Haiku, Ama’s IGT Super Tuscan that came out in 2009.

 

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Yours truly, with Marco Palanti at Castello di Ama

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And there was plenty of press around, too. Here we see Philip Laratt-Smith, the curator of the artist’s installation, interviewed by RAI.

 

 

In addition to Castello di Ama’s ardent support of contemporary art, anybody who’s looked closely at their label must have noticed that the inspiration comes from one of my favorite early Renaissance paintings, Guidoriccio da Fogliano by Simone Martini, found in Siena’s Town Hall or Palazzo Pubblico.

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Simone Martini’s masterpiece, who also trots across Castello di Ama’s label

The inspiring panorama, the inspiring wine, the artists’ inspiration and Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Palanti’s passion for art were intoxicating. This isn’t just a must-drink, it’s a must-see for anyone passing through that jewel of a region that is the Chianti.

Yours truly, playing with selfies and trees…

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