Tuscan winery Ornellaia has commissioned Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto to produce a series of special designs for a limited number of large-format bottles for its 2014 vintage wine.

Ornellaia unveiled the Ernesto Neto artwork for its 2014 vintage at a ceremony in Milan this week.

Brazilian-born Neto has created a series of designs based on his time and artistic collaboration with the Huni Kin tribe in his native country.

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Ernesto Neto works on the Ornellaia 2014 Vendemmia d’Artista project. Credit: Ornellaia.

The designs include intricate, interwoven mesh covers for 111 large-format bottles of Ornellaia 2014, as well as a special label design for regular, 75cl bottles. In a case of six bottles of Ornellaia 2014, one bottle will carry the Neto label.

Ornellaia and Neto have called the project ‘L’Essenza’ or ‘Essence’.

It is the ninth consecutive year that Ornellaia and its owners, the Frescobaldi family, have commissioned an artist to design bespoke label under the Bolgheri winery’s Vendemmia d’Artista project.

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All nine projects for Ornellaia’s Vendemmia d’Artista so far. Credit: Ornellaia.

Previous work has included individual poems on bottles, created by Canadian artist Rodney Graham for the 2011 vintage.

Neto has designed different mesh covers for different-sized bottles to reflect a social hierarchy of a single king, 10 nobles and 100 subjects.

Accordingly, 100 three-litre, double magnums have one mesh, 10 six-litre ‘imperial’ bottles have a different design and one single, nine-litre ‘salmanazar’ has an individual mesh.

This illustrates the ‘equilibrium that should reign in every community, with a hierarchy that is necessary so that all can live in harmony within the group’, said Ornellaia in a press release this week.

A charity auction to be held by Sotheby’s on 27 April will include nine lots that contain the bottles decorated by Neto.

Sotheby’s will hold the auction at the Guggenheim Museum and Foundation in New York – which will also be the beneficiary of the auction proceeds.

Ernesto Neto, born in 1964, has exhibited works all over the world, notably at London’s Hayward Gallery and the Panthéon in Paris.

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