Mas Blanch i Jové’s Vinya dels Artistes
A couple of weekends ago we were fortunate to be guests to the 3rd annual “Vinya dels Artistes” event put on by the winery, Mas Blanch i Jové in DO Costers del Segre of Catalonia. While simply making good wine would be a fine pursuit for a winery, a few years ago the family behind MBJ decided to heavily incorporate large scale works of art in to both their vineyards and their cellar. Apparently it all started with a large mural well-known Catalan painter and friend of the family, Josep Guinovart. Since then their collection has been growing with other impressive works such as a fishing boat hanging from an olive tree by Carlos Santos or this fascinating sculpture above, “La Llum Planant damunt la Terra” (“Light hovering above earth”) by Esteve Casanoves:
As they add more and more art to the collection, they have a celebration each year for a couple of hundred people who walk about and see the art from past years, get a taste of their Saó, see some performances (like an acrobat hanging off the glass cages above), and finally, the unveiling of the featured work of that year.
We’ve seen a lot of wineries in our lifetime, but this is without a doubt one of the most impressive events that we’ve ever been. As we walked around to three different live performances that were excellently done, we sipped on their latest vintages while the sun set behind the hills of the vineyards around the small village of La Pobla de Cérvoles. And of course it was fun to bump in to all the people we know in the wine circles of Catalonia who made sure not to miss this unforgettable event.
This year’s unveiling was a work inspired by a ‘visual poem’ by Joan Brossa, a beloved multidisciplinary artist known for his sculptural typography. His “Cap de Bou” or “ox head” which is seen above as this massive inverted A now hovering over the vineyards, reminiscent of the horns of an ox that symbolizes agricultural labor.
Many thanks to Patrick of Coca Webb for inviting us as his guests to this memorable evening.