tag archives: chardonnay

california winegrower, anne moeller-racke, describes the donum estate winery as ‘the ultimate pinot noir project’.

now, thanks to danish businessman and art collector allan warburg, and his partners, who purchased the donum estate winery from anne in 2011, the estate could also be described as the ultimate contemporary sculpture park.

jaume plensa | sanna, giant head

hospitality building (opened september 2017) | designed by MH architects | san francisco, CA

 

the park includes contemporary sculptures by important international artists, including fernando botero,

yayoi kusama, and louise bourgeois.

fernando botero | hombre caminante (walking man)

click here to read about the contemporary sculpture park and the sculpture workshops in pietrasanta, italy, where botero has an art studio.

installations in progress

left:  yayoi kusama | pumpkin

right:  pavilion under construction for a louise bourgeois spider

 

each sculpture has been carefully sited by allan, his partners michael and daniel, and anne.  the juxtaposition of art and nature is breathtaking!  my husband, bob, and i both felt inspired, refreshed, and invigorated after exploring the sculpture park.

right to left:

keith haring | king and queen

dahn vo | we the people

richard hudson | love me

keith haring | king and queen

richard hudson | love me

right to left:

richard hudson | love me

arik levy | rock

mark quinn | shell

arik levy | rock

mark quinn | shell

 

the donum estate sculpture park also showcases contemporary asian art.

yeu minjun | contemporary terracotta warriors

25 warriors installed through out the lavender garden

left to right:

  lui hui | captured rhino

yeu minjun | contemporary terracotta warriors

sopheap pich | morning glory

fernando botero | hombre caminante (walking man)

richard hudson | big moma

lui hui | captured rhino

gao weigang | maze

front to back:

sopheap pich | morning glory

yeu minjun | contemporary terracotta warriors

gao weigang | maze

 

circle of animals/zodiac heads by chinese artist/activist ai weiwei could be considered the most important work of art in the sculpture park.  not only, because it is the only edition of the sculpture that is owned by a private collector.  and, a permanent installation, instead of a touring exhibition.  but also, because of the historical context.

the sculpture is a reinterpretation of the twelve animals of the chinese zodiac that once surrounded the fountain in the gardens of the old summer palace (yuanmingyuan), a qing dynasty (1644-1911) imperial retreat near beijing.  the twelve zodiac animals disappeared when british and french troops ransacked the old summer palace in 1860, during the second opium war.

recently, when some of the zodiac animals from the fountain reappeared on the art market, the sale caused an international controversy.  so, the sculpture could be considered as a political statement about looting and repatriation.

the animals from the ai weiwei sculpture are larger in scale than the animals from the qing dynasty fountain.  so, circle of animals/zodiac heads could also be considered as an ethical statement about artistic license and the differences between originals, copies, and forgeries.

ai weiwei | circle of animals/zodiac heads

shown:  tiger | rabbit | dragon | snake | horse | ram

not shown: monkey | rooster | dog | pig | rat | ox

click here and here to read more about circle of animals/zodiac heads and the zodiac animals from the fountain at the old summer palace (yuanmingyuan)

 

circle of animals/zodiac heads now has commercial connotations.  ai weiwei collaborated with anne on the design of a new wine label for the donum estate.  each year, the animal on the label will change in accordance with the chinese zodiac.  what do you think of their branding and marketing strategy?

donum estate 2014 wine label | the year of the horse

donum estate 2015 wine label | the year of the ram

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

the donum estate

24500 ramal road | sonoma, CA 95476 | (707) 939-2290

private tastings and visits to the sculpture park by appointment