Castello Di Ama is a special place where an incredible natural setting and historical buildings meet to create the perfect combination of wine, art and heritage. Besides being a quality wine and olive oil producer, when you enter the Castello Di Ama you can feel the history and past lives of the place.
The family-owned vineyard is now run by a couple, Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Pallanti. Talking about wine, the Chianti Classico produced at Castello Di Ama ranks among the world’s most prestigious wines according to Gambero Rosso. With Tuscany’s unique rocky soil, wines became the symbol of the area.
But how has this place become a modern art exhibition?
The couple created the “Castello di Ama per l’Arte Contemporanea”, with their passion for modern art and creating an environment through the combination of art and place. Each year they invite artists to get inspiration from Castello di Ama and create a site-specific art piece. Inspirations come mainly from the history, vineyard, colours of nature and authenticity of the place.
So, who are those artists?
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Daniel Buren, Giulio Paolini, Kendell Geers, Anish Kapoor, Chen Zhen, Carlos Garaicoa, Cristina Iglesias, Nedko Solakov, Louise Bourgeois, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Pascale Marthine Tayou and Hiroshi Sugimoto.
When you enter the village the first thing you see is the stone road, where some of the paving stones are painted different colors. The road is an artwork by Pascale Marthine Tayou, “The Way to Happiness,” which leads you to the Castello.
After this happy welcome, the road leads to the historical building housing the wine cellar. But before going in to the cellar, take a look at the one-meter square opening in the floor. Looking down into what seems like a cage is a beautiful sculpture with an arrangement of a fountain by Louise Bourgeois called Topiary.
In the wine cellar there is an artwork by Kendall Geers, “Noitu(lover)” in a neon red.
“No true revolution is possible without love — the love of the wine, the earth, the rain, the love that is needed to change the way Chianti is understood. I could go on for a long while about love and revolution but I think it’s clear. What I like about the piece is that while it relates specifically to Castello di Ama it also relates to every revolution as well.” Kendell Geers.
After exiting the wine cellar another door opens to a room dedicated to an art installation “Paradigma” by Guilio Paolini.
Paradigma by Guilio Paolini Cristina Iglesias
Moving on to the next installation, Cristina Iglesias created this beautiful artwork made of fiber glass. It fills up with water slowly for an hour until it reaches the top, and then empties out.
Walking around the old small village there is a chapel open to visitors, but also in the back of the chapel there is a small door for you enter the inspired artwork by Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Also, Anish Kapoor has an art installation named Aima, which is in a chapel and described as fire and light. It is an optical illusion of a hole with a red spot the color of wine. When you see it first you don’t realise it is a deep hole but like a straight floor.But that’s because of an optical illusion.
Moving onto the basement, there is another art installation by Chen Zhen in another wine cellar with crystal glasses hung from the ceiling. Zhen called his work “La lumière intérieur du corps humain”. Normally the place is kept totally dark because of the wine processing and fermentation. But with these crystal glasses you can see a little light inside with their shine.
Another inspiring and colourful artwork is Topos by Lee Ufan. In the video, he explains his inspiration and how he perceived the place.
The biggest artwork in the Castello di Ama, “Sulle vigne: punti di vista” by Daniel Buren, is 25 meters long and 2 meters high built at the front of the Castello and between the landscape view of vineyards. From the windows, it gives the viewer a sensation of a traditional painting of a landscape. By blocking the view of the landscape and showing this beautiful vineyard landscape from the windows, Buren emphasises the value of beauty of the landscape.
“Sulle vigne: punti di vista” by Daniel Buren
In Castello Di Ama you can enjoy your Tuscan wine along with the beauty of the place and artworks. The spot is not only a great vineyard where you can taste high quality Chianti, but also something you must experience.
(All photos are taken by me)