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Castello di Ama for contemporary art

  • Castello di Ama for contemporary art

    Castello di Ama, Lecchi’s most local `castle,’ is actually not a castle but a hilltop estate and villa restaurant, doubling as a centre of contemporary art. This leading Chianti Classico producer a mere 2km north of Lecchi is a working wine estate known for its superb, full-bodied reds. At first sight the Castello is yet another traditional borgo, a stone-built hamlet nestling in the Chianti hills. Slowly, it becomes clear that wine, food and contemporary art are all part of the picture. This was the wine estate that entranced the Obamas on their post-presidential tour of Tuscany.

    The wine is master-minded by Tuscan Marco Pallanti, regularly crowned wine-maker of the year, with wines often in the world’s top ten lists. The estate’s San Lorenzo is a Chianti Classico gran selezione DOCG, a category considered the finest expression of its kind. The 80 hectares of vineyards cover different terroirs, from rocky schist to clay and gravel, with another 40 hectares given over to olive groves. The olives end up in the estate’s extra-virgin DOP Chianti Classico olive oil.

    The grounds are home to a world-class collection of contemporary art installations. This ambitious collection, Castello di Ama per l’Arte Contemporanea (Castello di Ama for Contemporary Art)
    The sculptures respond to the setting, much as the wines do, and are being added to each year. Castello di Ama repurposes original buildings, such as an on-site church and wine cellar, to showcase art installations in a striking way. The art is hard-core contemporary rather than soothingly pastoral. 

    The site-specific contemporary art is commissioned from artists of the calibre of Anish Kapoor, Daniel Buren, Louise Bourgeois, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Lee Ufan. The most engaging and accessible is the show-stopping mirrored installation by Daniel Buren that reflects the rolling hills. A Louise Bourgeois sculpture entitled Topiary is ingeniously hidden beneath a grate in the wine cellar floor and depicts a female form flowering into a male phallus.  Aima, a thought-provoking Anish Kapoor light installation, illuminates the estate’s tiny chapel.

    Book a wine tour and tasting, come for lunch, visit the sculpture park, or simply visit the estate’s Enoteca to sample and buy the wines, olive oil and nature-inspired home fragrances.
    Address: Castello di Ama, Localita Ama, 53013 Gaiole in Chianti
    Tel: +39 0577 746069
    Web: www.castellodiama.com

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