Wine and art are two fundamental pillars of Italian identity. The Country and its people are inextricably linked with their incomparable heritage, which comes with worldwide famous names in both fields. Incidentally, wine and art are both drivers of tourism and veritable powerhouses in the Italian economy: millions of tourists flock to Italy every year to admire its artistic treasures and just as many consume Italia wines enthusiastically, all over the world. It was only a matter of time before these two elements came together.
Wine and art. Wine in art. Art out of wine
Of course, wine and art in Italy have not exactly been strangers until now. Wine features in countless famous Italian paintings, poems, songs, and even statues. The wine industry has also harnessed the power of art in countless ways, featuring limited-edition labels by renowned artists, sponsoring art-related events, and coming together with tour operators to offer wine tastings in artistically relevant contexts. Now the happy union of wine and art has reached a whole new level, incorporating the former into the latter literally and physically. Elisabetta Rogai, a contemporary painter living in Florence, has decided to experiment with wine as a tool of her trade and developing a new painting technique that uses it instead of traditional oil or water-based colours. The absolute poetic beauty of it consists in the evolution of the painting after it has been completed. As the wine “ages” on the canvas, the colours change and give a whole new life and personality to the resulting artwork.
The next level of wine marketing
Wine producers were quick to spot the endless possibilities opening up as a direct consequence of Rogai’s brilliant idea. They started reaching out to her in droves to have her paint landscapes and still-lives featuring their vines and wines, as well as portraits of their founders or board members with their own vintages. Depending on the type of grape and the processing it has undergone, each wine-based colour will age differently on the canvas, which allows Rogai’s patrons to claim unique pieces. This is, of course, a spectacular marketing tool for any brand: art that not only features the brand but also uses the product itself and connects directly to a distinguished tradition of which the brand becomes an active part.
Enoarte: a Tuscan invention
The idea is not precisely new. Enoarte (the art of painting with wine-based colours) originated in Tuscany about a decade ago and has now become an international success. Live-painting sessions have been featured in private and exclusive events, as well as renowned industry events such as Vinitaly. These are not just mere vanity projects: they are a way for the wine producers to establish a legacy that will stand out, actively connecting with the great tradition of Italian visual arts, particularly portraiture. Wine-painting events are becoming increasingly popular among enthusiasts and professionals all over the world, with brands and event planners working to incorporate them into incentive travel packages and exclusive tours. Rogai’s paintings have been exhibited in prestigious venues such as Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti in Florence, and Santa Maria Della Scala in Siena.