On very rare occasions, a winemaker and an artist share a vision. Bringing to life a magical synergy of motifs we usually find only in fiction, winemaker Bill Mosby of Santa Barbara County, California, and renowned artist Robert Scherer of Appiano, Italy, present the Artist Series.
“His art makes me think of misty weather among the hills in certain parts of northern Italy. There’s an element of mystery, a secretive feeling about it. The moment I saw his work, I knew I wanted him to do a label for me,” Mosby explains, referring to his first meeting with Scherer in the Spring of 1998 at Freudenstein Castle near Appiano. Both he and his wife Jeri were captivated by the artist’s work. colors, shapes, glass and light.
Unable to speak a common language and with no interpreters to assist them, language barriers fell away in a camaraderie of hearty bread, cheese, wine and art as winemaker and artist achieved communication with gestures, facial expressions, and detailed drawings on white napkins.
Months later, the first completed watercolor arrived at the Mosby estate in California from the castle in Appiano. “The minute I opened the envelope and saw it, I knew it was right for my Pinot Grigio. All the elements are there,” affirms Mosby. “It’s exactly right.”
Orange County Fair Best of Show for Labels
Cortese, Teroldego, Dolcetto, Pinot Grigio
Orange County Fair for Labels
2004 & 2009 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition
1st place for label design series
Viennese-trained artist Scherer has received numerous awards and honors for his work and has studied and traveled worldwide. His paintings have been exhibited to enthusiastic audiences on several continents. With varied interests and skills, Scherer is also known for his mural painting and work in glass. Although the watercolors created for the Mosby labels embody levels of meaning linking the images with the wines, they stand on their own with composition, balance and subject matter appealing to any discerning viewer.
The wine and its representative label art are intricately bound. The aesthetic symbolism of the art visually tells of the wine inside. The winemaker—artist of the vine, guides the wine. The painting for the label, made of pigment, is transformed by the visual artist’s hand. Yet both wine and label are open to interpretation, both offer entries to contemplation and delight. Our ideas are merely the gateways.
The 1999 Mosby Pinto Grigio was the first wine to be graced with a label by Robert Scherer, but has since been followed by art labels on the Mosby Teroldego, Cortese, Rosato di Sangiovese, the Gold medal-winning 2000 Mosby Dolcetto, and most recently the Mosby 2002 Traminer. This series of labels has been so well received that Bill entered them in the 2002 Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Label Competition.
Result? The labels were awarded Best of Show across all categories!