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