A unique tourism trail through the city of Valparaiso launched with Wines of Chile in November links wine and street art…
In mid-November the Chilean city of Valparaiso held ‘Graffestival’, where a group of talented street artists created wine-themed murals for local wineries.
Organisers called it the first self-guided wine tour for the city, which is renowned for its street art.
Fifteen Chilean wineries were involved and each had a mural painted. Valparaiso in Colour was also a partner, helping to assign a street artist to each winery.
The artists only had two days to complete their work.
A further two murals were painted for Wines of Chile, one of which was created by Inti, an internationally known street artist.
The idea behind the trail is to help regenerate the area and further encourage wine tourism in Valparaiso, which is close to the winemaking regions of Casablanca and San Antonio.
‘Graffiti is interesting in how it can completely renew an urban space,’ said Grant Phelps, owner of the wine-and-graffiti themed WineBox Hotel, at the centre of the trail.
‘We want to make a contribution to the art scene in Valparaiso,’ said a representative from the Casas del Bosque vineyard. ‘It’s not about making marketing, it’s making art.’
Each winery had different levels of involvement with the murals. Some, such as Santa Carolina and Garces Silva, had their particular artist visit the vineyards.
‘Seeing the cellar helped. I saw their 1889 Exposition Universelle award of Paris [award] hanging in there, and that inspired me,’ said Daniel Marceli, the artist for Santa Carolina. ‘Carolina, the founder’s wife, inspired the woman in the mural.’
The artwork also includes some nods to the Santa Carolina logo, such as the star motif.
Veramonte also invited its artist, Aliona Rud, to its winery. ‘We wanted her to be inspired by the vineyard and the estate. We are all about our location,’ said a representative.
‘She really took what was important to us. Wines are not made in the winery, but in the vineyard.’
‘It was a new challenge to work with wine,’ street artist Martín Feis, one of the artists painting the mural for San Pedro. ‘It’s interesting to see how all of the artists will interpret it.’
The San Pedro mural (pictured top) is based on the hands of the workers, holding grapes and olives – ‘the fruits of the land’ – and a San Pedro cork.
The mural created for Montes was based on the angel used on its labels, and was ‘inspired’ by the history of the winery.
‘The faith of Montes in their angels have been part of the entire process. Faith angels were guiding them, and I want to make this my angel from what Montes has given me,’ said the artist, Seco Sanchez.
Others were not so involved in the artistic process. ‘We don’t want to interfere with his work,’ said Cristian Carrasco, winemaker at Miguel Torres Chile and Viña La Causa. ‘He doesn’t tell us how to make wine!’
The Torres mural was a take on Bacchus, the God of wine, ‘inviting everyone to see the other murals.’
The grapes in his crown are those local to the region, Pais and Moscatel.
Decanter.com was a guest of Wines of Chile in Valparaiso.