How This Winemaker Is Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Tuttomondo
The exemplary winemaker, Piergiorgio Castellani discusses producing a distinguished Tuscan blend in honor of Keith Haring
Tuscany, a hilly central Italy region perched along the Tyrrhenian coast is not just the most beautiful countryside but also, home to many of Italy’s most notable wines. Celebrated for the famed red wine, Chianti, the region’s soil harvests a wide range of grape varieties including: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Vermentino, to note a few.
Winemaking is an art and a tradition that starts in one hand, and passed down to another from generation to generation. One of the families historically known as pioneer winemakers from the Tuscan region is the Castellani Family - six generations of wine grape growers and vintners.
Now leading the family’s growing business is Piergiorgio Castellani, the wine grower and art collector who during a trip to New York in 1987, met Keith Haring on a whim and invited him to Italy to create what is now known as Haring’s latest public work, Tuttomondo.
“When I first met Keith, he [Haring] invited me to his studio in Manhattan, New York and immediately, we started discussing the idea of him traveling to Italy with me to create an important mural.” says Castellini, revisiting his first meeting and collaboration with Haring.
He continued, “He already had some important work done in Berlin and Sao Paolo but nothing in Italy so, I was very excited. I fortunately found an incredible wall in Italy on the side of a church in the city where I was studying in Pisa. Together with all the authorities, we were able to preserve and restore the wall that now hosts Keith Haring’s latest mural, Tuttomondo.”
Both worlds of Tuscan red wine and contemporary art were set to collide when, during his time in Italy, Haring gifted Piergiorgio an original sketch to be used as the label of a prestigious wine produced by his family.
“During his time in Italy, Keith was staying with me at my family house so he knew about my family’s winemaking tradition. Before leaving, he gifted me an original sketch he designed for the house wine of a friends restaurant, and asked that one day the label would be used for an important Tuscan wine produced on my family estate.” revealed Castellini.
Thirty years later, Castellani recalls remembering Keith Haring’s impact and monumental contribution to art in Pisa. With his art foundation, Materia Prima Foundation — an art residency program at the family’s Tuscan villa, he decided to honor Haring by producing a distinguished Tuscan blend for the 30th anniversary of Tuttomondo. A blend so delicious influential wine critic, James Suckling deems it ‘characterful’ and ‘elegant’.
The perfect equilibrium consisting of 60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot, Tenuta di Ceppaiano 2015 for Keith Haring is a complex blend with multiple layers of primary fruity aromas of wild roses, cherries, mint, cassis, and licorice.