Not all great Valencian ideas come about during a stroll along the Great Wall of China, but this one at least did.
‘Artiswine’ (or ‘art is wine’ if you prefer) is a collaboration between Alfredo Darder and Rodolfo Navarro dating back to October 2008, when Alfredo visited Rodolfo’s exhibition, the first ever hung upon the historic Great Wall of China, and the two old friends decided to pool their professional interests.
A comment by Alfredo, somellier, eonologist and agricultural engineer by profession, that he would love to see Rodolfo’s paintings wrapped around his best bottles of wine produced a moment’s silence, followed by five years of thought and development that finally became Artiswine.
Alfredo was the official somellier for the 32nd Americas Cup at the luxury Las Arenas hotel on Valencia’s seafront and is involved with wine projects all over Spain and in France too. He trained in Madrid under Emiliano Domenech, although his secondary education finished in Valencia’s Colegio San José Calasanz.
Like Rodolfo, a graduate of Valencia’s faculty of Fine Arts and an ex-student of IES Luis Vives, he is a lover of beauty and of all the pleasures of the senses, and this shared passion was responsible for maintaining the original idea of producing something special, a series of carefully matured wines with their own original paintings on the labels.
In all there are three wines from the 2011 harvest; a white, a red and a cava, and four series each of 12 paintings, the wines being sold as sets of 12.
The white wine is described as being ideal with rice dishes and cheeses, while the red goes well with roasted meats and stews
Although the grapes are grown near Requena, the wine making takes place at a well known winery near Onteniente using Moscatel, Verdejo, Sauvignon blanc and
Chardonnay varietals for the white, Monastrell and Syrah for the red and Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Perelada and Chardonnay for the cava.
The wines were presented at a meal held at the Artesanos del Vino winery at El Rebollar, with the idea of returning to China as the meal was in honour of Rita Jia, Managing Director of the Interwine Fair, China’s largest wine and spirits fair held twice a year in Canton, now known as Guangzhou.
Ms. Jia was in Valencia to promote the fair and to encourage Valencian wineries to exhibit there, where she claims that valencian products already have a good reputation.
In fact, for the next five years, Spanish experts such as Alfredo Darder will be dominating the fair’s juries, led by David Hernandez from Murcia, who was also present at the wine’s baptism.