Fornacelle: art and viticulture express the bond between man and his environment.
The Fornacelle wine estate, situated in the heart of the Bolgheri zone, has consolidated its relationship with artist Franco Menicagli, demonstrating that viticulture and art complement each other and can transmit, even if they make use of different forms of expression, a fundamental concept: the work of man exists only in relation to the environment that surrounds him, which becomes his one and only source of life, energy and movement.
Stefano and Silvia Billi, owners of the Fornacelle domaine since 1998, are carrying on the efforts of four generations in their area. They work every day in the vineyards, tending them with respect for the environment by employing sustainable husbandry based on integrated pest control. For them, their terroir does not merely represent a geographical position, but molds together everything that surrounds them, creating a single dynamic system in line with the passing of time.
Fornacelle is not a name chosen by chance: in this area made up of tongues of earth that is rich in iron, the ancient Etruscans built furnaces, and the wine that is produced here tells the zone’s story in the sensations and emotions that it conveys.
«Our story explains who we are: we have been involved in agriculture for generations, from the time of great-grandfather Giulio, who cultivated these vineyards in the nineteenth century.
Our family comes from this world, from a farming culture: one that knows the rhythms of the earth, the seasonal cycles of nature and is well aware that these cannot be tamed» Stefano Billi, proprietor of the Fornacelle company tells us. «Our task is to observe, comprehend, and comply with them, so that our energy blends in with and grows along with that of the vineyard».
Already the designer of the artwork reproduced on the labels of the estate’s Bolgheri Superiore, Foglio38 and Fornacelle Toscana wines, Franco Menicagli constantlyrenews the theme of the association between wine and art.
As someone who is originally from the Bolgheri area, he has collaborated in adorning the estate’s winery, inserting one of his installations in the new barrel cellar.
This work of art, made from recycled humble, everyday materials, becomes symbolically the product of man, clearly revealing its ephemeral nature.
What Franco creates is always linked to its surrounding environment, which serves as a container for his sculptures and allows them to assume different, dynamic forms that vary according to the context.
The work of man is fragile and is strictly dependent on his surroundings: an ever-changing relationship is therefore created between nature, people and work.
In art as in viticulture, the concept of a system that links man and his environment is a fundamental principle: one that makes a work of art alive and dynamic, and transmits into a wine personality and color.
As Silvia Billi states: « We live and work on the estate. Our lives and our vines are all one».
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