(Wallpaper*) After meeting at a wine store in Bern, Switzerland, fellow Argentines Matías Riccitelli and Marcos López, respectively an oenologist and photographer/visual artist, took their budding friendship a step further to collaborate on the winemaker’s latest releases.
Mendoza-based Riccitelli takes pride in eye-catching labels – his Hey! Malbec portrays a turquoise cartoon superhero – but he gave López artistic freedom to stamp his vibrant Latin-pop portraits on Blanco de la casa and Tinto de la casa.
The 2016 wines, a Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon/Chardonnay blend and Malbec, draw inspiration from Argentina’s tradition of serving the house white and red in penguin jugs. “Easy to drink, these wines aren’t the cheapest or most expensive, but I’m proud of them regardless,” says Riccitelli.
When it comes to production, López has a similar budget mentality, spending his energy on meticulous set and ‘model’ research. Shooting took place at La Boca’s Il Piccolo Vapore, taking advantage of the canteen’s murals and penguin jug collection. As for personas, the photographer only shoots strong personalities that move him, not professional models.
“It’s a valiant risk for the winery not only to use photographs on the label but also portray melancholic characters that don’t reflect good living,” says López. Another break from tradition is allowing these personas to take centre stage; the winery’s branding has deliberately been relegated to the separate back label.
The De la casa line doesn’t just sport captivating faces: wine critic James Suckling gave the Blanco 95 points in June.