Bordeaux Chateau Cantenac Brown commissioned Finnish Artist David Popa to produce a raw earth fresco titled The Power of the Earth. It is made from the property’s soil on the grounds of the estate to auction as an NFT. To be created in the spring of 2022, the biodegradable artwork will disappear after first rainfall, but will be preserved for collection through non-fungible token (NFT). NFT is a digital form of collectable artwork that is taking the world by storm, using crypto technology in the industries of art and music.
Popa’s fresco will be built in front of the estate, paying homage to the natural vine cycle on the winery and the artist’s relationship with the living world. Art is often explored by artists as a way of making the fleeting nature of life last longer. However, a biodegradable artwork reminds us that while memories and art collections can last a lifetime or longer, life and art itself can be over in a blink of an eye.
Through the project, Popa combines science and art. The two also connects him to Cantenac Brown’s winemaking.
“Everyone knows that the secret of an exceptional wine is, above all, the soil,” Popa said. “It is this earth that I use as a medium, with all the respect we owe it.”
Cantenac Brown was founded by Scottsman John Lewis Brown. He built the Tudor-style chateau, which is considered one of the most distinctive properties in the Medoc region. Sixty hectares of vines surround the chateau over the Margaux and Cantenac plateau.
In 2021, current owner of Cantenac Brown, Tristan Le Lous, announced his project to create a new zero-carbon winery. The winery would be made of raw earth, which should be completed for the 2023 harvest. The new winery is 100% gravity-fed. Meaning, it will allow the controlled handling of grapes and improved blending precision. Additionally, the raw earth shell of the cellar will offer thermal inertia, helping stabilize the ageing of wine without air conditioning. The passive system also allows for zero energy consumption for air conditioning, while providing ideal conditions for wine creation.
Images via Cantenac Brown