Through the grapevine: Studio Dror erects a monument to Marlborough at Brancott Estate

8m Corten steel sculpture
Under/standing (2017) is an 8m Corten steel sculpture designed by Dror Benshetrit for New Zealand's Brancott Estate
(Image credit: TBC)

Wallpaper* has followed the ‘wine meets design’ collaboration between New Zealand’s Brancott Estate and New York-based Studio Dror since its conception. Now, almost two years since the project began, the fruits of their labour are ready to harvest.

To pay homage to the Estate’s most noted wine – the 1979 New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon, a world first – an 8m-tall Corten steel stulpture has been ‘planted’ at the point that the first Marlborough grapes grew 40 years ago.

‘We spoke the same language,’ recalls Dror Benshetrit of the longstanding collaboration, after first visiting Brancott Estate in 2015. ‘The similarities between our shared dedication to pushing boundaries through new ideas was fascinating. By the time we returned to New York, I had already sketched an idea.’

8m Corten steel sculpture

‘Under/standing’, by Studio Dror, at Brancott Estate, 2017

(Image credit: TBC)

He envisioned an installation that, from afar, appeared as if it grew naturally from the ground, following the same geometric, ‘embyronic clusters’ as the grapevines. Up close, the industrial-edge would become tangible, aided by the textural complexity of the pinot-red steel.

The intricate structure comprises 52 individual components that lock into place – a grandiose version of ‘flat-pack’ design. It’s an idea that Dror revisits for its limited edition wine rack, ‘Present’ – a translation of the sculpture’s geometry, into a functional, smaller-scale object. ‘When visiting a vinyard,' Benshetrit explains, ‘a bottle of wine acts as a special end result that visitors take home. We wanted to give a piece of the sculpture to visitors in the same way.’

The two-year long collaboration has also spawned design innovation from Brancott Estate, which has released two wines inspired by the sculpture, a 2016 Sauvignon Blanc/Sauvignon Gris blend and a 2015 Pinot Noir. Bottoms up!

View of the steel sculpture from afar

From afar, it appears to have risen from the ground

(Image credit: TBC)

Steel sculpture up close

Up close, the textural complexity of the rust-red steel is tangible

(Image credit: TBC)

Limited edition wine rack inspired by the steel sculpture

The Studio has also created a limited edition wine rack inspired by the steel sculpture

(Image credit: TBC)

Surrounding project landscape of the steel sculpture

New York-based Studio Dror has been working on the project with the Estate since 2015

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information, visit the Studio Dror website and the Brancott Estate website


Brancott Vineyard
180 Brancott Road
Blenheim 7272
New Zealand


Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.