Tokara celebrates the release of its new vintages with ‘Wine made Art’

TOKARA has much to celebrate in September.

With the coming of spring, this unique winery releases its new vintages to the public at its annual Gala event – among them the highly acclaimed TOKARA Director’s Reserve wines, Reserve collection and Limited Release wines – and at the same time launches its annual selection of “Wine Made Art” for viewing.

“Art is very important to us and it gives us tremendous pleasure,” says Anne-Marie Ferreira, co-owner of TOKARA Estate. “We therefore wanted to develop a concept whereby we could promote art to the public in various available spaces, in and around our winery and delicatessen. We also felt art was a means to satisfy the sense of sight, which in turn would complement the other senses one could stimulate at TOKARA through our wines, olive oils and cuisine.”

Forty-five students from the Marié Stander School of Art literally transform wine into art when they dip their paintbrushes in 2011 TOKARA Shiraz, to visually portray their interpretations of this year’s relevant theme: “2014 World Design Capital – Cape Town”. (The World Design Capital title is awarded every second year to those cities that recognise design as a tool for social, cultural and economic development).

Marié Stander, who is herself a practicing artist, encourages her students to work in a variety of mediums, from oil and ink to charcoal and pencil. So painting with wine was a welcome challenge. “I’m very involved with the creation process. Whenever we start a new brief I show them different examples and ideas – to get the inspirational juices flowing,” she says.

The school has been involved with “Wine Made Art” for the past four years and over time they have perfected the method of preparing the wine for use as an art medium. Stander says that getting the rich burgundy colour you see in a glass of Shiraz to translate to the surface being painted on is tricky, because if used as it is, the wine becomes a lilac grey colour. “It’s very pale, but you can’t reduce it too much because it becomes too syrupy.” So after much experimentation they came up with using an old Voortrekker recipe for ink: boiling a wine reduction with a rusty nail and a white Protea leaf, creating the rich colour seen in this year’s art.

Stander discourages her students from using found objects or photographs taken by other people, so this project saw the Stellenbosch-based students venturing out onto the streets of Cape Town to find their inspiration. She is very impressed with the concepts and quality of the works chosen for this year’s exhibition.

Mark Lester, Marketing Manager at TOKARA, is also impressed: “The quality once again was truly magnificent. The theme was relatively broad, some artists interpreted it literally and others less so. The visuals therefore touch on a variety of subjects ranging from historic, to modern, to everyday scenes of Cape Town, to cultural scenes. The works capture a very diverse city, which Cape Town has truly come to represent.”

Twenty selected artworks from this year’s “Wine Made Art” project will be displayed in the on-site gallery from September 11th until end January 2015 for all public to view.

TOKARA, a picture-perfect destination on the crest of the Helshoogte Pass with sweeping views all the way to Table Mountain, offers visitors a unique combination of award-winning wines and olive oils, and a restaurant featuring one of South Africa’s leading chefs, Richard Carstens.

TOKARA is open 9am-5pm weekdays and 10am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.