The Donum Estate, renowned for its ultra-premium single-vineyard, single-appellation Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, announced the debut of labels designed by Ai Weiwei. The first label will appear on Donum’s 2014 Carneros Estate Grown Chardonnay, now available in select markets. This fall, labels for the entire 2014 Donum Pinot Noir portfolio will showcase Ai Weiwei’s designs.
“We have long been inspired by the strength and evocative power of Ai Weiwei’s art,” says Anne Moller-Racke, the president and winegrower for The Donum Estate. “We have been equally inspired by his willingness to push boundaries and to overcome convention. It is precisely this combination of elements, that we strive to bring to the art of winemaking.”
The installation by Ai Weiwei entitled “Circle of Animals” was acquired in 2015 and added to the winery’s outdoor art collection. It is a pivotal work, representing 12 animal heads of the traditional Chinese zodiac made in bronze. The zodiac signs are a Chinese tradition dating back thousands of years. The original set of zodiac heads was created in the mid-1700s for the Garden of Perfect Brightness (Yuanmingyuan) at the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. Ai’s “Circle of Animals” is not identical to the original work, but is instead a reinterpretation of it, reflecting the changes imposed by shifting dynasties, changes in values, the course of history, and political upheaval over time. It has become one of the most famous works of contemporary Chinese art.
“Wine can instill a moment of inspiration or madness; likewise can art,” notes Ai Weiwei.
Founded in 2001, The Donum Estate sources fruit exclusively from its estate vineyards in Carneros, Russian River Valley and Anderson Valley. Controlling production process from vine to bottle is very important to Anne Moller-Racke. Donum’s commitment to small, handcrafted lots reflective of site and vintage has been the mission, vintage after vintage.
The Donum Estate portfolio includes: Carneros Estate Grown Chardonnay; Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir; Carneros West Slope Pinot Noir; Carneros East Slope Pinot Noir; Carneros 1870 Pinot Noir; Anderson Valley Pinot Noir; Anderson Valley Angel Camp Pinot Noir; Russian River Estate Pinot Noir; Russian River Ten Oaks Pinot Noir; and Russian River Reserve Pinot Noir. For more information on The Donum Estate, visit www.thedonumestate.com.