Our Story- How the Artist met the Wine Maker

Jason Oliva’s Great Grandfather Samuel Oliva’s Wine Press. Circa mid-20th century.

My Great Grandfather started making wine in the States around 1906 after emigrating from Italy … I figured it was time to start continuing that tradition.

In 2010, New York City artist Jason Oliva and  South African winemaker Dirk Roos joined forces to create [Stripey Horse] 2008, the first release of Jason Oliva [Wine].

It was over two decades ago that Jason began to entertain the idea of having one of his paintings appear on a wine label after seeing that a hero of his, artist Keith Haring, had been commissioned by Chateau Mouton Rothschild in 1988 to do the same.

Keith Haring provides some inspiration …

Keith Haring’s 1988 wine label for Chateau Mouton Rothschild

At Jason’s first art show in 2000 and influenced by Haring, he painted and printed labels for the wine that was going to be served. Many of the empty bottles were taken away at the end of the night and are still on display in collector’s homes to this day.

Wine bottles from NYC art show in 2000.
Dirk Roos blending in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

When Jason met Dirk …

Dirk Roos comes from a family of winemakers in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. His family have been in the winemaking business since 1963 and are known both for their quality and attention to detail. All the grapes are harvested by hand and Dirk’s philosophy is one that fully subscribes to an environmentally friendly approach, that respects the balance of our ecosystem.

When Jason first met Dirk in 2010 at New York Vintners in Tribeca, not only did their meeting reignite Jason’s interest in showcasing his artwork through the medium of a wine label but it occurred to him that he could take his Keith Haring-inspired idea one step further: rather than wait around for Chateau Mouton Rothschild to come knocking, why not commission Dirk, with his expert wine making knowledge and experience, to produce the wine that would fill the bottle on which his artwork would appear?

And so Jason Oliva [Wine] was launched and [Stripey Horse] 2008 was born!

Jason signing (Stripey Horse) 2008 at his studio. NYC. 2012.

[Stripey Horse] 2008

[Stripey Horse] 2008 was an exclusive 250 bottle release of a 2008 South African Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux style blend, with Jason Oliva’s Stripey Horse painting adorning the label. It met with rave reviews and quickly sold out.

[Astronaut] 2010

[Astronaut] 2010 is an exclusive 500 bottle release of a 2010 South African Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux style blend, with Jason Oliva’s Astronaut painting adorning the label. It is due for NYC delivery in May 2013.


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