The Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs winery, famous for its red wine Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Art Russe Collection, with Russian art on the labels, released its first white wine, Cuvée Elena, in November 2020.
By decision of the Chateau owner Andrei Filatov, the 2019 and all subsequent vintages of Cuvée Elena will be reserved exclusively for charity auctions and all proceeds will go to charities that support children with serious illnesses. The charity idea for the project belongs to the wife of the Chateau owner, Elena Filatova.
Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs competes in the Red Dot Award 2021 in the Product Design category, subcategory Beverage Packaging.
The idea for the Cuvée Elena bottle design comes from the winery owner Andrei Filatov, who considers himself a disciple of Jean Nouvel in the field of design and architecture. Jean Nouvel is one of the world’s most renowned architects and the man behind the La Grace Dieu des Prieurs architectural reconstruction project.
The 1,300 Cuvée Elena magnum bottles are handcrafted from frosted and clear glass by master glass blowers Mauro Falco and Joel Laffargue at Waltersperger, the oldest artisanal glass workshop in France, labelled Living Heritage Enterprise. The delicate floral decoration is also applied to the glass by hand – the artist Victor Kirilov paints each bottle individually.
Since the project pursues charitable goals, one of the objectives was to create luxury packaging to match both the excellence of Cuvée Elena and the exquisite bottle design. In addition, the packaging had to seamlessly integrate with the product to spur interest in the lot during charity auctions and help raise more funds for children with serious illnesses from disadvantaged families unable to afford complex surgeries in leading international clinics.
Cast acrylic, an innovative material, was chosen to make the Cuvée Elena bottle case. Not only it reliably protects the magnum during transportation but, due to its total transparency, it channels all the attention to the unique wine bottle with the cuvée name applied to the glass. This packaging emphasizes the beauty of the bottle, creates a complete composition yet keeps the viewer’s focus on the centrepiece that is Cuvée Elena
Another key feature of the Cuvée Elena packaging is its versatility and reusability. After opening the bottle, the packaging can be used as an fine element of table setting, as the case can be filled with delicacies and snacks.
Also, due to the transparency and purity of the lines, the packaging will ideally fit into any interior as an art object in its own right, allowing a wide range for the owner’s self-expression. For example, the cavity of the case can be filled with water for floating candles, creating a chamber atmosphere in the living room or a romantic one in the bedroom.
Thus, in the case of Cuvée Elena, the packaging, which usually serves only for transportation and presentation of the bottle, gets a second life.
Handcrafted with an elegant floral decoration, when opened, the bottle itself also becomes a design element of either the kitchen or the living room.
Developed by winemaker Louis Mitjavile and the Chateau team, Cuvée Elena is the first-ever Chardonnay out of Saint-Emilion. At the Global Chardonnay Masters 2020, organized by the leading trade publication The Drinks Business, the 2019 vintage was named the Best Premium Chardonnay.
One of the very first tasters of the new Chardonnay, Jean Nouvel said it was “singular” and “elevated”. According to the architect, “its radiant, clear colour makes it akin to transparent gold … and, on the pallet, its subtle complexity transforms its depth into addictive infiltration of gold …”.
The history of the Red Dot Award goes back more than 60 years to 1954, when the Verein Industrieform industrial association was created in Essen, under the auspices of which the first design competition was held in Germany in 1955. Subsequently, the project became international and acquired the name Red Dot Award. Today, the competition has 51 categories and covers all aspects of design, including industrial and household product design. Over the years, Apple, Omega, Grohe and LG products were among the winners of the Red Dot Award. There are currently three Red Dot Design Museums in the world (Essen, Germany; Singapore and Xiamen, China), displaying the winning exhibits from different years.