Beyond our enjoyment of Abbazia San Giorgio (ASG) wine we thought we should also share our particular connection with one of the wines we have imported this year. Battista’s new wine called BAT. Making good artisanal wine is an artform that not everyone can do. Knowing that ASG would be releasing some new wines, Sebastiano, had the idea of putting an actual artist’s painting on the bottle to complement what was inside. To this end he asked his friend Paolo Buggiani (who also happens to be Toby’s father) if we could reproduce the image of one of his paintings on one of Battista’s new wines. And so was born the label of BAT.

To explain the label a little, we wanted to tell you a bit about Paolo Buggiani. His career as an artist and non-conformist spans many decades and today he is regarded as one of the most independent contemporary artists, internationally recognized for his installations of fire sculptures.

After a successful career as painter in Rome, in 1962 Paolo moved to New York and in 1968 with his experiments called the Vacuum Forming System, he received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Sculpture in America. Returning to Italy in May 1968, he was active both in Rome and Milan. Buggiani’s work at the time included: “Ephemeral Sculpture in Motion”, “Fire” (as Performing Art and Installation), “Paintings over Reality” (landscapes photographed through painted crystal), “Wearable Art” (handpainted jumpsuits). When he returned to New York in 1978, he started his research on Mechanical Reptiles and Urban Mythology. These images placed into the urban environment brought him popularity as one of the most important members of the Street Art Movement, along with Keith Haring, Richard Hambleton and Ken Hiratsuka. Since 1979 he has been sharing his time between New York and the medieval town of Isola Farnese, in Rome.

Battista Belvisi’s BAT was born from experimentation with Nerello Mascalese on the island of Pantelleria. While the grape has been used with great success on the steep inclines of Etna, it was not being planted on the small Mediterranean island of Pantelleria. When visiting the mainland of Sicily, Battista noticed the many similarities between the volcanic terroir and flora and was also taken by the flavor profile of Nerello Mascalese. To this end he began to plant a modest vineyard of this grape in Pantelleria. His intuition proved overwhelmingly correct as this grape flourished and produced a number of vintages of Cloe’, Battista’s beautiful rosé. Continuing in this vein, he decided to make a light and lively red blend with Nerello Mascalese and Alicante grapes.

BAT is a work of art inside and out. With only a handful of cases available, we invite you to bring home some art!

Toby and Sebastiano,