As our Senior Winemaker Sue Hodder explains to chef Guillaume Brahimi in the video, the history of Wynns and art is a long-established tradition. From the triple-gabled logo to the ornate Coonawarra Table at our Cellar Door, we'll introduce you to the art and artists who make Wynns memorable.
First up, Richard Beck, the English-born designer who studied in England and Germany before settling in Australia in 1940. It was then in 1953 that David Wynn commissioned the Melbourne-based artist to produce a woodcut of the winery facade. The resulting illustration of the Gables has appeared on every Wynns Coonawarra Estate label since, making it one of Australia's most recognised wine symbols.
Renowned local painter and winner of the 2016 John Shaw Nielson Acquisitive Prize, Hamish McDonald has also been part of Wynns history. After being commissioned by our viticulturist Allen Jenkins, he immortalised the Gables in acrylic on canvas. Sue is also a big fan of Hamish's work, describing his style as "Very out there...Very bold and contemporary and vivid colours. It looks like the paint's still wet."
Additionally, photography has had a lasting history at Wynns. Not only as a way to better market our wines from the '50s onwards, but as a means of connecting with our staff. For example, when Mount Gambier photographer (and winning contestant of Channel 9's 'Farmer Wants a Wife') Joanna Fincham was commissioned to photograph each of the vines in the dry-grown Johnsons vineyard as a personalised gift to each of the Wynns employees.
Located inside the Cellar Door, the Interpretive Centre has also had an incredible amount of craft put into it. The curated space aims to provide visitors with a unique educational experience and opportunity to share in our world of viticulture and winemaking. It has been designed by Melbourne-based producer, curator and writer John Kean, an Honorary Associate of the Museum Victoria who has curated exhibitions for City of Melbourne and Melbourne Museum. He also happens to be one of Allen's good friends.
Inside the Interpretive Centre is a large table that depicts the Coonawarra region, as mapped by Julie Rogers in 2011. The red terra rossa solis are represented with red gum (sourced locally from Andy Clifford) and the darker rendzina clays are represented with walnut tree from the original fruit colony. Sue was keen to highlight that the trees had "...already fallen down. We didn't chop any trees down to make the table." This kind of thoughtful craftsmanship is further apparent in the table's ornate parquetry. The parquetry was fashioned by furniture craftsman Christian Cole, creating an enduring icon for both the Cellar Door and the wider Coonawarra region.
It's for these reasons and more that art and craft are woven into the fabric of Wynns. And that's without even mentioning our region's love of fine dining. Keep an eye out for our Inner Circle Productions videos to find out more about how art and science influence our winemaking here at Wynns.