Jason Oliva [Wine] was formed in 2010 and is owned by NYC artist Jason Oliva. His creative goal is to annually produce an exclusive, limited edition, vintage wine that showcases Jason’s artwork in the form of a wine label. Each bottle is hand signed and numbered by Jason.
Jason Oliva the painter meets Dirk Roos the winemaker.
In 2010, Jason commissioned South African winemaker Dirk Roos to create [Stripey Horse] 2008 – the first release of Jason Oliva [Wine].
I was so impressed with Dirk’s wines when I tasted them. He was visiting NYC to promote his family’s vineyard and we were at New York Vintners, chatting, when he mentioned he had yet to have an American Hamburger! So I dialled up Charlys in the financial district and we soon found ourselves alone, eating burgers and drinking all his handcrafted wine in the NYV offices. Dirk explained his ‘earth conscious earth friendly’ winemaking philosophies, which were all about limiting the use of machines, handcrafting, being conscious of the planet combined with his love of art and culture. He was so passionate about it all and we became fast friends…as far as starting a wine project was concerned, I knew my wait and search for a winemaker was over. -Jason
The writing was on the wall
Jason’s desire to form a company that offered his own brand of wine started over two decades ago in 1988, when he read about one of his artistic heroes, Keith Haring, being commissioned by Chateau Mouton Rothschild to add to their history of artist created wine labels.
It was the late 80’s and I was in high school creating wine labels as an exercise when I discovered Keith’s label for Mouton and it really hit me that wine labels can be anything you want them to be from a visual perspective. I knew even then that I wanted to see my art represented in the form of thousands of little paintings, adorning beautiful sculptural bottles. -Jason
First art show, first wine label.
A decade or so later in 2000 and directly influenced by Haring, Jason painted and printed his own labels for the wine that was going to be served at his first art show in New York City. Many of the empty bottles that were taken away by guests at the end of the night are still on display in collector’s homes to this day.
I think I scraped the labels off of four cases of Two Buck Chuck and replaced them with hand painted labels and some that were printed from a home printer. It took ages to do! I remember after the show at around 2 am thinking that I needed to clean up all the empty bottles, only to realise that the show guests had taken almost all of them home … I managed to keep just one for myself. I see those bottles I made on display at collectors homes now. -Jason
Lets turn the winemaker/artist relationship on its head.
Then in 2010 Jason met South African winemaker Dirk Roos at New York Vintners in Tribeca, NYC. Not only did their meeting reignite Jason’s interest in showcasing his artwork through the medium of a wine label but it also occurred to him that perhaps, with Dirk’s skills as a winemaker, he could flip the Rothschild/Haring idea on its head. In other words, instead of the winemaker commissioning the artist, Jason the artist would commission Dirk the winemaker to produce the bottle of wine on which his artwork would appear.
I thought I could wait a 1000 years for Chateau Mouton Rothschild to call me to do a label – and it was never going to happen – so I said screw the gatekeepers, I’ll do it all myself!
People had been commissioning me to make paintings for years and I had grown to understand the amount of trust and freedom that I am granted during that process. I also know the enjoyment people get out of commissioning artwork so I thought the best way to further explore those ideas and learn more about my position in the world as an artist is to get on the other side of that notion and experience what it would be like to commision another artist – i.e, Dirk.
Winemaking as Jazz!
And so Jason Oliva [Wine] was launched and in 2012 Stripey Horse (2008) was born.
It all happened so fast. I told Dirk, ´I want you to make the greatest wine you can and I am going to put my Zebra painting on the label and I will call it Stripey Horse´. Dirk really dug it. He took the image of the Zebra and tried to incorporate his feelings about the character of the animal into how the blend would taste. He immediately understood how the art would inspire the winemaking and the winemaking would inspire the art, like two jazz musicians riffing back and forth. I can’t tell you how pleased I was with the whole process. -Jason
Stripey Horse lands in NYC…the reviews are in.
Stripey Horse (2008) arrived in New York City on June 14th 2012. And what a day that was! The wine went on to meet with excellent reviews and won several tastings against other prestigious wines. The 250 bottle, 20 Magnum, limited edition release also sold out, with many people purchasing individual bottles, multiple bottles, cases and magnums for gifting, sharing, collecting, saving for special occasions and … of course … drinking.
it was an amazing day when the wine finally arrived in NYC. I wanted to carry every case myself and could not wait to sign and handle each bottle. The wine itself tasted awesome and the bottle looked stunning. It was a moment that took almost 25 years to create and the excitement that followed from my art collectors and wine enthusiasts was a crowning achievement of my professional career… I was ready to do it again and again, year after year. -Jason
Whatś in store for the future?
Jason Oliva [Wine] will continue to annually release a bottle of wine that incorporates the same creativity, quality and integrity that the maiden vintage, Stripey Horse (2008), established on its initial release in 2012.
Now with the third release of Jason Oliva [Wine] – Octopus (2011) – arriving in NYC in 2015, there is much to look forward to.
We invite you to join the Jason Oliva [Wine] family by adding your name to our wine allocation list.
Thank you ALL for your support.