I had the opportunity to visit Cantina Zaccagnini, a local wine company listed among Abruzzo’s most popular brands. The winery, located in the village of Bolognano (in the province of Pescara), is a unique example of wine production area turned into a museum of contemporary art.
“Wine: the Art of Man” is the concept that sums up the company philosophy: Wine and Art are two forms of eternal pleasure that can reveal the secrets of life. Cantina Zaccagnini has always committed to promote art in the wine industry, the first memorable artistic event took place in 1984 with the presentation of the “Defense of Nature” by the world-renowned teacher Joseph Beuys.
Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986) was a German Fluxus, happening and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist and pedagogue of art. He is now regarded as one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century. Beuys believed that humanity, with its turn on rationality, was trying to eliminate “emotions” and thus eliminate a major source of energy and creativity in every individual. He stated that, as “spiritual” beings, we ought to draw on both our emotions and our thinking as they represent the total energy and creativity for every individual. Therefore in our life we must seek out and energize our spirituality and link it to our thinking powers so that.
“our vision of the world must be extended to encompass all the invisible energies with which we have lost contact”
Beuys was a friend to founder Ciccio Zaccagnini and his son Marcello and regularly visited the Abruzzese wine estate in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving traces of his passage as seen in the barrel room. Strongly influenced by Beuys’ vision of art and life, the Zaccagninis turned the winery into an iconic venue: the search for harmony between productivity, art and environment is well evidenced by the presence of numerous works of great artists, scattered among the vineyards and gardens as well as in the ageing areas of the winery.
Art was also the source of inspiration when building the winery: the roof features a seagull wing shape; the barrel room resumes the lines of an eye attentively observing the Majella National Park; the tasting room window as well is shaped like an eye, symbolizing Zaccagnini’s care and devotion to the local territory.
Visiting the wine estate is a pure joy to any art and wine lover. I could sip a vigorous Montepulciano, stroll peacefully among the vineyards and admire the works of art harmoniously integrated into the landscape. Silence was in the air and my glass of wine was the only companion, I got the feeling that life was somehow revealing itself to me. That was the perfect moment wherein every natural and human element seemed to occupy its exact place in the universe, a unique sensation that I can hardly explain.
See you in Abruzzo!
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