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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · italy · Tuscany · Wine and art

Castello di Ama

Author: Anothertravelguide.com1 COMMENT

Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama is located right in the heart of the Chianti Classico wine region, near the city of Siena, which is known for its 13th-century Gothic cathedral. The property’s name translates to the poetic ‘castle of love’, and this is undeniably one of the most special wineries in all of Tuscany. Not just because of its terroir, which produces wonderful Sangiovese grapes, but also for its superb collection of contemporary art.

Foto: Castello di Ama

The collection began back in 2000 as a collaboration between the owners of the winery, Lorenza and Marco Pallanti, and the Galleria Continua in the town of San Gimignano, which is the best-known gallery in the area. Artwork is found everywhere at the Castello di Ama – not only around the winery but also in the wine cellar, the main villa, and the chapel. It tells of an exchange of energy – each work of art was created specially for its site or was at least inspired by the local terroir, and the creative energy of the art, in turn, stimulates the production and maturation of the wines. This also explains why a traditional wine tour here is combined with a stroll around the grounds and the artwork, letting visitors enjoy the interaction between these two aspects of culture. The names of the artists read as a who’s who of contemporary art: Michelangelo Pistoletto, Daniel Buren, Giulio Paolini, Lee Ufan, Anish Kapoor, Chen Zhen, Louise Bourgeois, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Hiroshi Sugimoto, etc.

Foto: Castello di Ama

One of the most powerful works of art in the Castello di Ama collection is French artist Daniel Buren’s installation Sulle vigne: punti di vista (2001) – a gigantic mirrored wall set into the landscape that is interrupted at regular intervals by windows. The surrounding fields and hills reflect surreally against the wall, leading to the feeling that you’ve landed in some elusive and slightly mystical dimension of absolute beauty.

Foto: Castello di Ama

Like a ‘black hole of the universe’, a fiery red cave of light opens up in the middle of the floor of the small chapel at Castello di Ama. Made by the Indian-born artist Anish Kapoor, who is now based in Great Britain, in one sense the object resembles a campfire. But it can just as well seem like a unknown road to nowhere. The most emotional work of art in the collection is Chinese artist Chen Zhen’s light installation La lumiere interieur du corps humain (Internal Light of the Human Body). Located in one of the wine cellars, it was created while the artist was battling cancer and was installed five years after his death.

The winery also has its own restaurant and a small five-room accommodation in a building dating to the 18th century. In all, Castello di Ama owns 250 hectares of land and is located at an elevation of approximately 500 metres above sea level, with the vineyards interspersed among groves of olive trees. As the owners say, art and wine are their contribution to future generations. After all, the wines they produce are intended to be aged for 30 to 40 years. And art also requires time in order to truly flourish and be appreciated.

Località Ama, 55, 53013 Gaiole in Chianti SI



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