Wine and art seem intertwined, often mentioned in the same breath. Many call winemaking an art, but to me the work is more artisan. Certainly there is art involved in making great wine, yet to anyone who has grown grapes and made wine you know your connection is to the earth. Winemaking is agriculture, you're more a farmer than anything else.
Yet the connection between artist and winemaker cannot be denied. Perhaps it is because our descriptions of what we taste in wine always fall short of truly conveying the complexity of this beverage. Vague references to aromas of wild strawberries or currents and flavors of green apples, black raspberries or vanilla bean do little to really communicate the amazing array of aromas and flavors that seem to explode out of a great bottle. While we fall short, an artist can convey the complexities of life in their work. Certain works of art just speak to you, as do many bottles of wine.
When I saw the paintings "Color of Life" and "Wine Dance" by Oregon artist Janet Ekholm, I realized they could tell the story and convey the personality of our wines far better than mere words ever could. These paintings conveyed my feelings about the wines far better than any tasting note could ever do. I felt such tie between the images and the wines that I decided to bring them together by creating our first artist labels. “Color of Life” for Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Oregon and, in the Napa Valley, “Wine Dance” for our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone whites and Corallina Syrah Rosé.
“Wine Dance” perfectly reflected the joy, pleasure and fun of Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé and was purposely selected with this wine in mind. The mouthwatering flavors are sure to want to make you dance too. Says Janet on “Wine Dance”, “Life, joy and energy radiate throughout. The scene pulsates with the rich colors of a fruitful harvest that has brought about a perfect blending of the soil and sun, and therefore a joyful dance to the wine that will be savored by all.”
No wine reflects the ground from which it came more than pinot noir. “Color of Life” blurs the lines between the women and earth into one, just as pinot noir does with a vineyard. In her arms earth’s bounty reflects the incredible range of flavors one can discover in pinot noir. I chose this label for our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir as the brilliant colors and bond between earth and wine truly tell the story of this bright, zesty and richly flavored Pinot Noir. “The goddess of the harvest offers her lush cornucopia of earth’s abundance, evoking the promise of prosperity. Fully immersed in the landscape, she is one with nature, representing the bounty and richness we are given each day that bring color and joy to our lives,” is how artist Janet Ekholm describes “Color of Life”. I think she also perfectly describes our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
Wine and art are perfectly intwined in the beautiful paintings of Janet Ekholm and our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone wines.