Rotondo is Italian for round with the offshoot tondo meaning a circular artwork – usually a sculpture or a painting.  The shape of the tondo may have evolved from the symbolic birth plate or tray given in celebration of the successful birth of a baby during medieval times.

Italian painter best known for his Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli, was amongst the first artists to respond to the challenge of the tondo to create a clear structure in a round space. His tondi can be viewed in one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the world, the Uffizi in Florence.

Hemel-en-Aarde winery Bouchard Finlayson and owners, the Tollman family,

Peter Finlayson with the tondi at Bouchard Finlayson, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Peter Finlayson with the tondi at Bouchard Finlayson, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley

recognised the opportunity to put oak barrels to use on expiry of it’s primary benefit of ageing Pinot Noir. Not only are barrels given a second chance at being masterpieces but deserving artists are also awarded and the winery has a fitting exhibition.

The Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award forms part of the Hermanus FynArts Festival. 124 entries of circular art works were received for the 2015 competition giving the judges a difficult task to select 40 finalists. The winners were announced at the Hemel-en-Aarde cellar where art enthusiasts could enjoy a glass of wine while appreciating the circular designs.  Winemaker Peter Finlayson mentioned that art and wine share many similarities in production and appreciation and is an appropriate add-on to Bouchard Finlayson’s wine business.