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06 May 2024

The link between cellar, art and territory: Tenute Orestiadi and Gibellina

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In the heart of Sicily, a land of history, culture and natural beauty, the city of Gibellina represents a unique example of how a territory can rise again after a terrible tragedy and transform itself into an art laboratory. In this context, Tenute Orestiadi, a winery that is still young but deeply rooted in the history of its land, wants to keep together the three dimensions of wine, art and territory as elements that blend to create unique experiences.

Gibellina Vecchia and the '68 earthquake

The tragedy of the Belice earthquake in 1968 profoundly affected western Sicily, leaving an indelible mark on the entire region. The total destruction of Gibellina, along with Salaparuta, Montevago, and other towns, led to the loss of hundreds of lives and left thousands injured and tens of thousands homeless. The response to the disaster was a mix of heroism and desperation, with stories of doctors working in extreme conditions and communities trying to regroup amidst the rubble.
The artistic and cultural response to the destruction of Gibellina Vecchia is emblematic of the power of creativity to face disaster. Ludovico Corrao, elected mayor of Gibellina a year after the earthquake, catalyzed a cultural rebirth movement, inviting internationally renowned artists to contribute to the design of Gibellina Nuova.
The new Gibellina was conceived as an open-air contemporary art museum, a place where the trauma of loss and destruction has been transformed into an expression of hope and regeneration through art. The city hosts works by numerous renowned artists who responded to Corrao's appeal, transforming Gibellina Nuova into a living experiment in urban planning and public art. This ambitious project not only offered a new home to the inhabitants of Gibellina but also created a one-of-a-kind cultural reference point.

The Cretto di Burri between History and Memory

Among the many artists called to participate in the project, Alberto Burri is one of the most famous, and his Grande Cretto is probably one of the most evocative works created in the city of Belìce.
A work of land art that covers the ruins of old Gibellina, preserving its memory in a unique and touching way, Burri's Cretto not only commemorates the loss but transforms the memory of the disaster into a shared experience of reflection and commemoration.
Alberto Burri was an artist who always explored the themes of ruin and rebirth, and for the Cretto he decided to use the rubble of the destroyed city, creating a vast concrete area that follows the layout of the streets of Gibellina Vecchia.
This labyrinthine network of cracks invites reflection, allowing visitors to literally walk over the ruins of the city, now sealed under a layer of concrete, the result is a work that goes beyond the simple memory of the victims, becoming a place of meditation on fragility of life and the strength of community.
Burri's Grande Cretto has become an essential point of reference in the history of contemporary art and an extraordinary example of how art can intervene in the social and territorial fabric, creating spaces for collective reflection.

When wine meets art: Tenute Orestiadi and the Barriques Museum

Tenute Orestiadi was founded in 2008 and aims to represent a meeting point between viticulture and contemporary art, underlining the indissoluble link between wine production and local culture. The Barriques Museum is an example of how Tenute Orestiadi interpret this union.
In the intimate and intimate atmosphere of a barrique cellar, where time seems to expand while waiting for the wine to mature, the Barriques Museum was born as a sanctuary of contemporary art. This unique environment hosts a permanent exhibition inside an active barrel cellar, creating a scenario where the formal elegance of an exhibition space is intertwined with authenticity and winemaking traditions.
The project saw the light thanks to the collaboration with the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and many artists participated by exhibiting their works. Artists can also become resident guests of the cellar, which thus becomes a melting pot of inspiration, testifying to an unprecedented fusion between the oenological and artistic worlds.

The story of Gibellina and Tenute Orestiadi is a tale of rebirth, of how beauty can arise from destruction, and how art can become a bridge between the past and the future, between the earth and man. This link between the cellar, art and territory not only enriches Sicilian culture but also offers a model of how viticulture can contribute to the enhancement and conservation of artistic and cultural heritage.

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