WMG sold our first two Manetti Amphora in 2015 to Grande Provence, we are very proud to say that to date we have sold 150 Amphoras to the SA market. The most popular size is the 500L.
Each vintage we are excited to see what the winemakers will do with our pots, cultivars range from Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Semillon, Grenache, Mouvedre, Durif, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Mystery of the Symbols
The mystery of the symbol of the wine amphoras have always been a talking point, we have asked Giovanni Salvianti one of the potters from Manetti what the history and meaning around these symbols are.
The terracotta wine containers in Tuscany near Impruneta are traditionally called Orci as since the 1200s the presence of ‘orciolai’ in the Florentine area has been documented. Some of the first Italian amphora are the Medieval Orci found in the restoration of historic buildings which were made for the preservation of wheat and were not decorated in any way.
These then evolved to the Medici Orci dating from 1650 to 1890.
The Medici Orci differed due to the addition of the bands and were also much greater in volume. They were decorated with a rosette of oak leaves which was placed in the centre of the upper part of the Orci called the ‘pancia’ between the two handles. The 600, 700 and 800L Manetti amphora are modelled on these Medici Orci.
The Medici Orci were then replaced by the classic Tuscan Orci or jars that were dedicated to the preservation of olive oil.
In this region of the world, alchemy and astrology go back many centuries but they were rediscovered by the Medici during a cultural climate of humanism. They then used hermetic texts to create the traditional rossettes which distinguish these classic orci.
We also see these rossettes in the zodiac, a circle of petals, diametric section of citrus fruit or the rosettes of the Gothic cathedrals. Manetti use these rossettes in their 400 and 500L amphora. The technique of the orci craftmanship precedes the invention of the potters wheel and the orci are made with the same skill and actions that created the first terracotta orci 7000 years ago.
The symbols impressed onto the ancient terracottas were messages, communications, figurative language or signs.
Some of these signs have endured through time and still live in the bands of the Manetti amphora today albeit with some modifications. They are a living tradition, the handling over of a testimony of learning from potter to potter. The master gives the new potter the value, mystery, meaning and manner taught over many centuries.
Earth, water, air and fire are the elements of the astrological and hermetic tradition.
All four elements are essentially present in the creation of the orci from the terracotta clay. This tradition defies time and the wine from these vessels celebrates the continuity of life. It has been linked to the ruse of Bacchus.
From a God that dates back to heaven we arrive at a man who rises to the sky, a journey made possible by another God who came down from Heaven… who chose to become a man and turned his blood into wine.