Winemag Winemag d'Arenberg Cube

The Wine Enthusiast Guide to Art & Wine

Wineries that are Works of Art

Europe has long been a place of pilgrimage for lovers of both art and wine, so it should come as no surprise that the two are often connected. Today’s cultural landscape remains celebrated, with several wineries boasting art collections that can be traced back for centuries. Not to be overlooked, New World venues, too, offer opportunities to engage aesthetic sensibilities across a range of mediums.

Marchesi Antinori
Marchesi Antinori / Photo courtesy of the Antinori Family

Marchesi Antinori

Tuscany, Italy

A fixture of Italian wine culture, Marchesi Antinori evolved in tandem with some of the greatest artistic achievements of the Renaissance, starting in the 1300s. That heritage is now reflected in an extensive collection of art that lines the walls of its estates.

The best place to drink it all in is its newest winery, Antinori nel Chianti Classico, where pieces from antiquity are displayed alongside modern, site-specific installations. It’s part of the family’s Antinori Art Project, an organization committed to research and sponsorship of contemporary exhibitions.

Vivanco
Vivanco

 Vivanco

La Rioja, Spain

Encompassing more than 40,000 square feet and exceeding 6,000 pieces, the Museum of Wine Culture at Spain’s Vivanco winery is an aesthetic and scholastic marvel. Throughout, modern, temporary installations and works by legends like Picasso, Dali and Miró are closely curated to illustrate the history of the beverage.

Wine-hued photos line one room where art explores the experience of tasting, paintings of grape harvests and carvings of Bacchanals are displayed in another, and ancient amphorae, wineskins and a variety of grape presses are exhibited elsewhere. An onsite Documentation Center rounds out the collection, cataloging portrayals of wine across media platforms.

D’Arenberg's Cellar Door
D’Arenberg

d’Arenberg, McLaren Vale

Australia

Towering over Australia’s McLaren Vale region is the recently opened d’Arenberg Cube. Part tasting room, restaurant and interactive art museum, the one-of-a-kind, five-story glass and steel building is modeled after a Rubik’s Cube.

Inside, visitors will find such features as a bar made of grapevines covered in glass, a 3-D holographic light display and a soundscape that interprets the vineyard’s weather. Though the mélange of it all exudes a Willy Wonka-like vibe, the multisensory experience is very much meant to educate guests about wine.

Spier Wine Farm
Spier Wine Farm

Spier Wine Farm

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Family-run Spier Wine Farm is one of South Africa’s oldest continuously operating vineyards. Today, however, the dynamic estate equally embraces its cultural roots, showcasing one of the largest collections of contemporary South African works and forging connections with area artists.

Local-made pieces, ranging from stone sculptures and beadwork to recycled glass chandeliers and objects woven from newspaper, are exhibited throughout the farm’s mix of modern and restored buildings, while a master mosaic and ceramic studio and satellite art academy focus on employment-based training.

Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Bruton, England

The founders of the Hauser & Wirth gallery were drawn to nature at Durslade Farm in Somerset. Here, a closely manicured garden unspools into an extensive gallery of traditional sculptures and paintings, abstracts and floor-to-ceiling installations.

This venue highlights ecological engagement, hosting educational programing, committing to green initiatives and showcasing ethically sourced ingredients in its restaurant, Roth Bar & Grill. In 2015, winemaking became part of the big-picture plans as well when Bacchus, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes were planted. The first harvest took place last year, and the firm hopes to produce wines onsite soon.

Sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy in The Hess Collection Winery.
Sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy in The Hess Collection Winery / Photo by Robert Russo

Canvassing California

The Golden State’s wine country isn’t just about gazing at grapevines. Here are a handful of top-tier estates featuring equally excellent art collections to check out.

The Hess Collection Winery

Mount Veeder, Napa

The Hess Collection has received numerous awards for its world-class vintages, culinary programs and green initiatives. But a trip here offers an added incentive: free access to founder Donald Hess’s assemblage of contemporary art.

Only a fraction of his massive collection, the exhibition has been a winery fixture since it first opened in 1989, and currently contains more than 1,000 pieces by 65 international artists. Works range in styles and rotate regularly, though all are chosen for touching the proprietor personally.

Hearst Castle at sunset
Hearst Castle at sunset

Hearst Ranch Winery

Paso Robles

Hearst Ranch Winery sits adjacent to sister estate, Hearst Castle, where you can tour 165 rooms and 123 acres, which showcase the only art museum operated by California State Parks. Designed by architect Julia Morgan and full of works acquired by William Randolph Hearst himself, most of the pieces on display were to be specifically showcased in San Simeon. Afterward, walk down the hill for a stop into the tasting room, itself housed in a former general store built in 1952.

Donum Estate / Photo by Meg Baggott
Donum Estate / Photo by Meg Baggott

The Donum Estate

Sonoma

Don your walking shoes and take in the oversized installations among the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines at The Donum Estate in Carneros. Over 30 works from world-famous artists like Ai Weiwei, Yayoi Kusama, Louise Bourgeois, and Keith Haring can be found throughout the 200-acre estate. The European owners began compiling the artwork in 2015, and now all tasting appointments involve a viewing of the grounds and sculpture collection.

Folk art sculptures at Brander
Guillermina Aguilar from Ocotlan de Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico. The piece is a nativity made out of clay.

Brander

Santa Ynez

Folk art rules at Brander, where you’ll discover Mexican ceramics, adorned vases, statues and beyond. Three generations of the Brander family lived and studied throughout Latin American before founding the sustainable Santa Ynez Valley winery in the early 70s. Co-founder Fred Brander, who established the Brander Museum of Folk Art in 2015, continues to travel and acquire pieces from small artisans.

Sculpture by Lawrence Argent in the vineyards at HALL
Sculpture by Lawrence Argent in the vineyards at HALL

HALL

St. Helena, Rutherford

Kathryn and Craig Hall, the creative forces behind HALL St. Helena and HALL Rutherford, invite guests to view their collection of contemporary designs and sculptures, which goes beyond the playful “Bunny Foo Foo” statue visible from Highway 29. Pieces from Nneka Okore, Nick Cave, François-Xavier Lalanne and Shahzia Sikander can be found inside and out of the tasting rooms or literally projecting on side.

Published on March 22, 2018
Topics: Design
About the Author
Sarah E. Daniels
Associate Editor

Daniels is the former Dining Editor at Hudson Valley magazine who has also written and edited for web-based publications such as Food52 and The Kitchn, and has assisted in food styling and recipe testing for an assortment of cookbooks. Prior to her career in culinary-related media, Daniels spent years as a pastry chef at venues throughout upstate New York and completed the Longhouse Food Scholars program. She has a soft spot for quiche and hiking trails with footbridges, and would be hard-pressed to turn down a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Email: sdaniels@wineenthusiast.net
Instagram: @little_honey_dee

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