How much would you pay for a bottle of wine? Twenty bucks? Fifty? A hundred or more? Try $122,400 on for size. That's how much one buyer recently paid at auction, setting the record for a single bottle of Italian wine.
The bottle in question is a 2010-vintage Ornellaia customized by artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, sold on the occasion of the Bolgheri-based winery's 25th anniversary. This nine-liter Salmanazar was the only such bottle created, alongside 100 three-liter Double Magnums and 10 six-liter Imperials.
"In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ornellaia, we have created exclusively for vintage Ornellaia 2010 a special logo which is silk-screened in gold and ivory on each and every bottle, providing a unique and truly memorable experience," said Ornellaia CEO Giovanni Geddes. "The Vendemmia d'Artista project aims at re-establishing the tradition and value of Renaissance artistic patronage in a modern key. Every year we commission an internationally renowned artist to produce a work of art and an extremely limited number of special labels that are in themselves works of art, and which capture the essence of the vintage and its personality. In the past four editions of Ornellaia Vendemmia D'Artista we have raised over $1,400,000 through auctions of these special bottles, which have been donated to institutions related to the Arts. For the 2010 edition we have commissioned Michelangelo Pistoletto to celebrate the 25th anniversary."
The charity auction was held by Sotheby's at the Royal Opera House in London last month. The landmark bottle joined seven others (three of the Imperials and four Double Magnums), raising a total of $364,900 for the Royal Opera House Foundation.