Dame Janine is a female fiasco, designed by a French artist called Clet Abraham, the Street art artist, and Ruffino will make 6000 of them
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
The Tuscan fiasco, the first protagonist of the success and most of all, o f the exporting of Chianti, has a second youth. Other than the Museum created by the Bartolozzi family, now there is an artistic restyling commissioned by Ruffino for its Chianti Superiore 2012. A great 5 star vintage for the most prestigious denomination of the Chianti appellations and a striking packaging . The fiasco gets its female version, it turns up-side-down and resembles a human face. The name Dame Janine recalls the French for Lady Jane but is a clear reference to the damigiana, demijohn, the straw covered container similar and larger than a fiasco. It was greatly used inTuscany to transport and preserve wine up until 50 years ago.
So a game in a game where the protagonist is Clet Abraham the famous Street art artist, the most transgressive and suprising of them all. Born in Rennes he now lives in Florence and he got into the newspapers by hacking street signs all over Europe, injecting a little humour into the mundane commute, being provocative such as the Christ on a Cross on a “Dead end “ sign, that created a revolt among Catholics (me included) . His most
extraordinary action was carried out on the night of January 19th2011 where on the Ponte alle Grazie inFlorence, he positioned a sculpture of a “Piccolo uomo nero” small black man, committing suicide in theArno river. This action wanted to be a polemic warning to the ex position in Palazzo Vecchio, in the Studiolo di Francesco I,heart of the Florentine government, of a skull covered in diamonds –value of 100 million – rcreated by Damien Hirst. As if to say … in fro of such contempt for death and poverty, an orinary man con do nothign else but jump off a brige. In the end I suppose Clet is right.
The renewal of the fiasco by such an artist it is an act of bravery, but also an important contribution. The glass container with straw all around was used in Tuscany since the Middle Age. You can find references in Boccaccio’s Decameron and in paintings by Botticelli and Ghirlandaio. In the second half of the 18th century it eased Chianti wine exportation thanks to its distinctive character and the straw that protected the glass from breaking. Its image has long remained tied to that of low price Italian wine which was the first to be exported from our country.
However in the collective imagination, the fiasco, is also associated with the idea of the most traditional and authentic Tuscan farm production. To re-launch and renovate its concept was certainly not easy, especially for Ruffino which, although it ties a piece of its past to wagons loaded with wine fiascos, is now owned by Costellation. This is the largest brand worldwide for premium beverages with a wine business regarding 660 million Dollars per year. A multinational colossus without equals with a portfolio that includes Mondavi, Mouton Cadet, Simi, Clos du Bois …and tens of other brands from wine, beer and spirits..
Ruffino was born in 1877 and after stormy years with the Folonari ownership, since 2011, belongs to the American colossus who is once again bringing it back to its long ago
splendor. A rebirth that sees as one of the protagonists the Dame Janine. If have felt the enthusiasm of the managing director of Ruffino Sandro Sartor for the new fiasco which was presented at the Teatro del Sale in Florence at the end of October . A project which shows an admirable ability to not be weakened by nostalgia or by the sacred respect for the past, but to re-elaborate the original idea of the fiasco in a cultured, not banal and friendly way. Clet Abraham has in fact maintained, with the new bottle, the intimate, informal and familiar character that made the Tuscan fiasco successful.