September 17, 2018

With Extended Tirage, Hair, Argyle Uncorks Next Generation of Wine Artists with ‘Art of Sparkling’ Labels

The Willamette Valley’s Argyle Winery has spiritual ties to the Portland, Ore., hipster-artist scene going back to Rollin Soles’ founding moustache in 1987, but in the past few years, the Dundee sparkling specialists have made their ties to the art community more formal (though no less fashionable) than in the early days.

When the winery was opening a new tasting room in 2015, it occurred to management that the light-filled space and high ceilings could use some wall art to spruce it up. Soon, a scholarship program with the Portland Northwest College of Arts was underway, and last week, the third annual class of recipient students unveiled Willamette wine–inspired works that will decorate both the Argyle tasting room and bottles of Argyle’s limited-edition Art of Sparkling vintage 2015 brut wines.

The scholarship program begins each year in January, with PNCA and Argyle reps selecting three student recipients. The trio this year—students Jeff Cravath, Rebecca Giordano and Levi Hylton—made the trip to Argyle in April to find inspo in the vineyards and cellars, and get a brief crush course in how traditional-method wine gets made. “After visiting the vineyard and winery I was taken aback by how simple and elemental the process was,” said Cravath to Unfiltered via email. “Since then, I’ve thought a lot about how little I know of what I consume daily. Where and what it comes from, its maker, and how far it travels to get to me.”

In May, the students unveiled their designs on canvas, then the Argyle team fired up the label printer, the vintage bubbly rounded out its third year of aging, and the Art of Sparkling bottles were launched. The pop of bubbly wine completed the cycle of art-world patronage, from commission to exhibition, and the young creatives got a brush with the business side that was less commercial-crass than warm and, uh, fizzy. “In addition to generous scholarships, students have a true client experience—researching and exploring how their creativity can be deployed to represent the essence of the Art of Sparkling and Argyle,” Don Tuski, PNCA president explained to Unfiltered.

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