Not too far from Pamplona, infamous for the running of the bulls, nestled in a valley by the Arga river, surrounded by Sierras del Serbil and Pardón, lies Bodega Otazu, a winery rooted in history. As far back as the middle ages, the King of Navarre consumed Otazu wines, and in 1840, the first chateau style winery was built outside the city as a single-vineyard estate.
What sets Bodega Otazu apart is its special appellation of origin, Denominacion de Origen Protegida Pago de Otazu, bestowed upon the winery because of its unique microclimate and soils, as wines made from this estate are singularly different than wines produced in the rest of the region. Expression of terruño and heritage is the guiding light of Bodega Otazu’s philosophy.
As part of their ethos, the bodega established the Otazu Foundation, focused on the interconnected relationship shared by history, art, nature and wine culture.
"I understand wine as a cultural and experiential element." Guillermo Penso, director of Bodega Otazu.
'Genios de Otazu'
The Genios de Otazu collaboration was born out of a dialogue between the creative universe and the world of wine.
Since the 2016 vintage, Bodega Otazu has worked with artists during the winemaking process, from harvest to bottle. As part of this interpretation, each artist designs a special label and case for the bottle. Each artist also reimagines an essential tool in the process of winemaking: the wine barrel. The pieces become part of the permanent collection of the Otazu Foundation at the winery in Navarra.
David Magán, the inaugural artist selected for the 2016 cuvee, is a sculptor and designer from Madrid who is focused on the relationships between structures in space depending on location.
The label and case for Genios de Otazu #1 is based on an isometric perspective, geometric modules where light changes depending on the angle like a kaleidoscope. For the barrel, David deconstructed the standard wine barrel as a transparent, almost virtual vessel, one where the dynamic elements of light change depending on the position of the viewer. The piece is named ”The secret behind the barrel.”
The David Magán cuvée is made from merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes selected from special pagos, hand harvested and aged for 15 months in new French oak barrels and 18 months in bottle for this limited edition collection (signed and numbered with a methacrylate case).
For Genios de Otazu #2, Pablo Armesto, a Swiss painter and graphic designer who lives in Asturias, was tapped for the 2017 vintage.
As part of exploratory research into the elements of light, Pablo created a floating wine barrel, “the spirit of wine” fitted with LED lights, symbolizing the energy of the people at the bodega. The label is designed with retro-luminescent ink that glows in the dark.
“The objects are also impregnated by the soul, the effort, the illusion, just like the wine. So part of your life or part of the people interacting with the piece, also leave their mark on them.” - Pablo Armesto
The Pable Armesto cuvée is made with cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and tempranillo grapes selected from special pagos, hand harvested and aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels for this limited edition collection (signed and numbered with a special case).
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