Last night’s opening of Wine Becomes Art in the historic Dallidet Adobe of 1860 was a joyous occasion! This exhibit features wine bottles painted and etched by local artists. Many thanks to the Docents, the staff of the Wine History Project and the History Center.  Cindy Lambert and Aimee Amour- Avant installed the exhibit so beautifully in the adobe. Libbie Agran and Haley Goodwein selected bottles from the Wine History Project Collection that reflected the hand of each artist as well as the technique used to produce the label.
The Wine History Project believes that each winemaker is an artisan creating the wines we enjoy. The artist who designs the label and decorates the vessel creates visual art that may relate directly to where the grapes were grown; the wine made or to the celebration of wine by those who consume it.  Exhibit themes:
  • The Art of Painting which included the artist either painting directly on the bottle or the artist making her own paper, ink painting the label and affixing it to to the bottle.
  • Labels that focus on dance celebrating philanthropists Candace and Burt Forbes, music by performed by pianist Paderewski, Elizabethan literature as seen on the Adelaida Winery labels, and sculpture by Tim Lloyd in a variety of media.
  • Labels reflecting collaboration of wine connoisseur Archie McLaren, winemaker Jim Clendenen and artist (Yuroz) in their wine, Genuflection, with the theme “Dancing with Pomegranates” celebrating love, music, and dance.
  • Labels in gouache and mixed media by James-Paul Brown to celebrate love, the kiss, the romance of foreign lands.
  • Etchings by Candice Norcross on 12 wine bottles of various sizes, shapes, colors, and themes from Holiday greetings, to the Central Coast Wine Classic, to celebrating the Chumash Drumming, to etched and hand painted landscapes and a Kandinsky Painting. Candice joined us at the exhibit and gave a talk on the history of the etching technique in labeling wine bottles.
  • Paper labels reflecting historic wineries: Castoro Cellars, Chalone Winery and the Hitching Post Label by winemakers, Gray Harley and Frank Ostini, made famous in the movie Sideways and the large jug from Rancho Sisquoc Winery.
  • Labels that reflect the sense of place such as Silver Canyon by painter Gary Conway, the Dragon of Prichard Hill by Carissa Chapellet, and two bottles with labels by Chagall and Aran Fernandez commissioned by Baron Rothchild for his Chateau wines.
From May to June 2018, this traveling exhibit was at the Dallidet Adobe in San Luis Obispo.
From October 2018 to January 2019, a selection of Candice Norcross bottles was on exhibit at the El Paso de Robles Area Historical Society.
The Wine History Project is collecting labels either on paper or affixed to bottles, empty or full. If you wish to donate to our collection, please call us.