After 37 years, the annually changing artist labels and wrapping papers that have graced Casanuova di Nittardi Chianti Classico represent a “who’s who” of the art world. Painters, sculptors and poets – including some Nobel Prize winners – have honored the winery year after year, thus continuing a centuries-old tradition that harks back to the former owner, Michelangelo. The array of works now found in this unique collection includes pieces by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Yoko Ono, Tomi Ungerer, Dario Fo, Pierre Alechinsky and Günter Grass, among others.
Another cultural icon joins the ranks with the new Casanuova di Nittardi, Vigna Doghessa Vintage 2017. This year’s label and wrapping paper, which grace every bottle, are by the hand of an exceptionally multifaceted personality who has helped shape the history of his country: Mikis Theodorakis – composer, musician, politician, theoretician, philosopher, freedom fighter.
Born on the greek island of Chios in 1925, he is considered a living icon of Europe. He has endowed Nittardi with an impression of his musical cosmos. The label is adorned with a melody, and the wrapping paper with a celestial map of the maestro’s creative universe.
Since his youth, Mikis Theodorakis has fought for freedom, tolerance, and human dignity. The resistance fighter of the Second World War became an opponent of the military junta of 1967-74. His opposition was punished with years of imprisonment and exile, which he used as a creative source for music pieces – operas, symphonies, ballads, and arias such as his Mauthausen Trilogy – that have become Greek cultural treasures and powerful weapons of freedom. Even during the most difficult of years, his compositions gave hope to the people of Greece.
In 1970, Paris became the new home of Theodorakis. In regard to meeting the maestro in 1976, the former French president François Mitterrand said, “Mikis played piano. From time to time, he accompanied himself in a soft voice. The emotions that took hold of us transformed our small group into a single body. We were the sun and the river and the lost valley … hemmed by flowers and blood.”
Theodorakis has conducted more than 1,000 concerts in venues such as the Royal Opera House in London, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, the Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Vienna Concert Hall.
He achieved international renown in 1964 with his music for Alexis Sorbas, the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Nikos Kazantzakis. The unforgettable dance scene in which Anthony Quinn dances the Sirtaki on the beach of Crete influenced generations throughout Europe – and continues to do so today.
This distinctive double act, which the great master has dedicated to the Nittardi vineyard, is an homage to the universal language of music.