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The idea that wine is an art form is not new to me – I pretty much live, breathe and enjoy this art form daily.  What is new to me, however, is a simple understanding that an artist and a winemaker are, essentially, the same creative person…

Masi is a family-owned winery located in and around the Verona region of Italy – home to the special style of wine, Amarone, that is loved the world over. Amarone is made with three Valpolicella grapes: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara.  What is unique and defines an Amarone wine is the technique used to craft the wine.  The grapes are laid out on bamboo racks to dry during the winter months which concentrate the juices and make the wine incredibly flavourful, dense, delicious and expensive.

Some visionary people at Masi wanted to take one of their flagship wines, Costasera Amarone, and incorporate contemporary art onto the label – and the Costasera ‘Contemporary Art Project’ was born.

This past Monday, I was invited to attend the unveiling of the latest Costasera 2000 ‘Contemporary Art’ release of its’ label.  From the many skilled and talented artists who submitted their work for review, the famed Coast Salish artist, Susan A. Point, was selected.


Point’s creation, entitled ‘Traditional Legacy’ is, quite simply, perfect.  She states, “The images come from the powers that make up the North West Coast.” Her use of colour, motif and imagery reflects the significance of the life cycle: of grapes into wine, of paint into a finished canvas and, most importantly, the cycle of life of all living things.  I appreciate Point’s use of the circle in her ‘Traditional Legacy’ piece – the symbol of everything from the grape, to the sun and moon, salmon eggs, the passing of generations onto the next, and life itself.

Point is a descendant of the Musqueam Coast Salish peoples and is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has been presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada.  As the selected artist for the Costasera 2000 label design, Point has been given the honour of selecting a young Canadian art student to whom Masi offers a scholarship for an experience in Italy to learn about glass making in Murano.

Masi’s ‘Contemporary Art’ Costasera Amarone was released this week into the Specialty B.C. Liquor Stores and retails for $189.99.  There are 112 cases available.