Monteviejo: A unique space where art and wine collide

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by Amanda Barnes

It isn’t often that a winery wins the same award two years in a row, but when it comes to the case of Monteviejo and the Great Wine Capitals Arts and Culture Award, it couldn’t be more deserved.

Monteviejo has set the bar high for cultural activities at a winery as their Art and Culture Director Gabriela Nafissi tirelessly creates new projects with different local and national artists and collaborators.

Monteviejo's Art and Culture director Gabriela Nafissi

2017’s award acknowledged three of their main projects over the past year. Firstly, the impressive Reencarnaciones project. This is a concept which takes art beyond the first dimension: it is a storytelling experimentation that involves several dimensions of artistic expression - writing, painting, sculpture, video, music and wine to mention a few.

The genesis of the project comes from a book of short stories that Nafissi wrote herself, and asked four friends to help rewrite, or reincarnate, those stories in different artistic forms - sculpture, music, video and wine. For each story you have a complete audiovisual and sensory experience. Who doesn’t love to tuck into a good story with music playing in the background and a great glass of wine in hand? It’s a perfect art, culture and wine pairing ready for you to savour.

That was Reencarnaciones 1.0. Then came 2.0, 3.0 and several more incarnations of the project as more artists collaborated with new story lines and abstract expressions which have ranged from modern dance to giant inflatable tigers. Several of the masterpieces created in Reencarnaciones are on permanent display in Monteviejo winery’s gallery or out in the vineyards with the Andes mountains as a backdrop.

Building one of the 'reincarnaciones' (reincarnations)

The second project recognised by Great Wine Capitals is the pioneering wine education programme for deaf people. Through a tasting course and wine education programme, a group of deaf wine drinkers and sign language interpreters, together with the local wine institute, created the first sign language glossary of wine terms and the first level of a deaf person’s Introduction to the Wine World Course.

The third cultural event to be acknowledged is the Plus+Art exhibition held at Monteviejo winery the day before Wine Rock (and last year’s award-winner). A run up of live art and sculptural projects takes place in the vineyard making it a temporary outdoor exhibition that visitors can enjoy for an art-only day followed by the art and rock music festival the next day.

This event has become one of the most popular cultural events in Mendoza’s wine region and attracts artists and musicians from all over Argentina. Each of them are eager to take part in creating something unique in the inspiring setting of a vineyard leading up the majestic Andes mountains. And who could blame them? Visiting Mendoza’s wine region is a sensorial and artistic experience in itself, and Monteviejo has made it even more vibrant.