AMARONE DOMINI VENETI
A project developed with Simone Gargano, architect.
“Producing wine is a complex experience. It means carrying on an ancient tradition, which goes far beyond entrepreneurial spirit, and embracing centuries-old practices as well as innovation, charm and discovery.”
This sentence, immersed in the context of the Homeric world of Ulysses, led us to conceive and create an allegorical concept. A young satyr, one of the habitual companions of the wine and grape harvest god Dionysus, plays with the viewer from behind a theater mask. The mask reproduces the features of Ulysses, as represented in the iconography of the famous Sperlonga’s Polyphemus sculptures group. Ulysses and the young satyr, in our view, embody the Apollonian and Dionysian faces of the Mediterranean culture and the thousand-year old tradition of wine making. On one hand, you have the history, knowledge, and tradition of wine: the rational, step-by-step process followed throughout generations in the production of wine. On the other hand, you have the adventure, surprise, and dynamism of wine culture and consumption: a warmth that envelops the five senses and changes with every glass. The future and the past are represented as a light and serene mythological allegory, with a strong but smooth continuity at its core. The crescent moon is a classical symbol of prosperity and the moon is related to growth of grapes in the mediterranean popular folklore. The word VTIS in the frame’s corners is the latin word for “Nobody”, nodding to the smart trick played by Ulysses to escape from the Cyclops. The Eye on the seal on top of the cork recalls, between the lines, the story of Polyphemus: the cyclop blinded by Ulysses and his companions, in order to be able to continue their voyage. In the same way, the consumer, in order to proceed and enjoy the wine, will metaphorically blind the eye guarding the contents of the bottle. The visuals have been completely and specifically hand drawn for this concept and chromatically it recalls a bright terracotta color on a black background. This kind of palette can be found on the ancient Greek Red-figure pottery, used, amongst other things, for the transportation and preservation of wine.
The conclusion of this allegorical trip around the bottle is synthesized in a quote, from the Second Book of the Odyssey, which we can read around the bottleneck. This quote tells of the extraordinary wine that awaits Ulysses as a reward, if he ever makes it back home.
“There, too, stood great jars of wine, old and sweet, holding within them an unmixed divine drink, and ranged in order along the wall, if ever Odysseus should return home even after many grievous toils. Shut were” (Odyssey: Book 2, Lines 340-344