Stratus Vineyards marks the launch of their first-ever méthode traditionelle sparkling wines with the creation of a very limited collection, labelled withunique Canadian works of art. The six-bottle wooden case includes both a Blanc de Blancs and Brut Nature made from 100% estate-grown Chardonnay. With only 40 boxes available, allocations will be selected by lottery.
Five celebrated artists from across Canada were invited to submit multiple works; the works were reviewed by a jury drawn from the art, design and wine worlds, who selected one piece per artist. While the original intent was to have one final artwork chosen to label the entire wine lot, it was later decided to feature all five selected pieces based on the diversity and range of the submissions. With so few bottles exhibiting each artists’ work, the six-bottle collections are a stunning and rare showcase of Canadian talent.
The sixth bottle within the collection is a Blanc de Blancs, Méthode Traditionelle and features the hallmark painting by the late Richard Halliday which hangs in the Stratus tasting room. “‘Constellation Series has been an integral backdrop to our guest experience,” says Suzanne Janke, Estate Director at Stratus. “We are honoured to include Halliday’s iconic work with this much anticipated wine launch.”
The Artist Label Series is the culmination of the long- time vision of David Feldberg, founder and owner of Stratus and CEO of Teknion, a Canadian workplace furniture company. His passion for design and love for wine mesh beautifully; and while not an original concept (the most famous art labels are from Château Mouton Rothschild, Bordeaux, France), the Artist Label Series is an opportunity to engage the Canadian art community. Winery friend and art collector Paul Bain, Board Chair, Toronto Biennial of Art and partner at Dickinson and Wright LLP, was the keystone connecting the winery and the Canadian art community, making Feldberg’s dream a reality. “I was thrilled to help my friends at Stratus. They make beautifully realized wines and this first sparkling product deserves memorable labels, which these great artists delivered,” comments Bain.
The featured artists are from five different provinces and span a variety of media, from painting, to works on paper, to photography and video. Melanie Authier, Jessica Eaton, Sarah Anne Johnson, Scott McFarland and Curtis Santiago have contributed a range of art which adds more ‘story’ and personality to the wine experience. Each original work was to be auctioned off at a launch event, but given COVID restrictions, this program has been postponed. The wine collection will be available on December 6 by ‘lottery’, with each artist label revealed daily, from December 1 – 5 via Stratus’ social media and digital platforms.
Stratus 2013 Brut Nature | Zéro Dosage takes an artisanal approach within the bottle as well. A premium sparkling wine made of 100% Chardonnay, the fine lees have been only partially disgorged. Stratus winemaker J-L Groux believes this low-intervention technique in sparkling wines adds further aromatic complexity and texture. Already aged six years in bottle, this wine is ready for enjoyment and like fine art, it will age and be appreciated for years to come.