A few months ago winemaker Mario Andrion asked me to design a brand and bottle labels for his new winery, Azienda Agricola 499. I’d got to know Mario through my time working for Domenico Valentino, and consequently become a big fan of his wines. In 2010 I had the chance to visit him on the job in Italy, where for several years he has been producing exemplary wines for Castello di Verduno, one of the Langhe region’s top producers of Barolo and Barbaresco. For his new venture Mario teamed up with his friend and vine owner Gabriele Saffirio, on whose 14 acres are cultivated two outstanding indigenous varieties, Moscato and Freisa. Located in the tiny Piemontese hamlet of Camo, the company takes its name from the elevation (499 meters above sea level) of the vineyards.
From the outset Mario told me he wanted to use the sketch of an elder winemaker’s seasoned hands, representative of his own belief that great wines come from years of passion and hard work. The image is also a respectful nod to the many men and women who elevated the Langhe out of postwar poverty by working the very same land from which he has been able to forge his own career. The wines arrive in New York in Spring 2013. In the meantime check out the official
Azienda Agricola 499