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Photo by Tom Hayes

Studio Dror And The Brancott Estate: Under/Standing The Present

In the early 1970s, Brancott Estate changed the global wine industry by creating the world’s first Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc—now known as one of New Zealand’s most prized wine styles. After planting the first Sauvignon Blanc vines in Malrborough in 1975, Brancott Estate has since continued to produce wine that reflects its pioneering spirit, and now, they’re doing even more with Studio Dror.

Studio Dror, established in 2002 by leading man Dror Benshetrit, is a New York design studio that transforms Benshetrit’s visionary ideas into works that illustrate a penchant for challenge and transformation. His main fascinations circle around geometry, physics, and poetry, while pushing the envelope to create extraordinary atmospheric experiences. He has collaborated with a multitude of differing companies and corporations—including Bentley, Alessi, Target, and Cappellini—and now, Brancott Estate joins that list as his first wine-related venture.

Photo by Tom Hayes

After Brancott Estate’s chief winemaker Patrick Materman invited Dror to tour the vineyard, it was apparent that they both shared an appreciation for the science, art, and craftsmanship that goes into the spirit of creating something sophisticated. From harvesting the grapes, to undergoing a specific fermentation process, the creative process that is completed is something that Dror wanted to interpret—and in a big way.

“I envisioned an installation that appeared as if it grew from the ground in the same geometric orientation as the grapevines, while encapsulating the entire winemaking process with its static presence,” said Benshetrit.

Photo by Tom Hayes

In 2016, a large-scale installation will be revealed to similarly replicate the layout of the vineyard’s vines. Under/standing begins as a flat matrix made of CorTen steel, and unfolds into a 27-foot-tall structure entirely formed of aggregated triangulations.

Under/standing’s name originated from two points: how the vineyards and winemaking process informed the project, and to a theory of Buckminster Fuller, who believed that to understand something, one must build it, and stand underneath it. Visitors to the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre will be able to view the installation, which will also serve as a new, unique venue for wine tastings and events.

Dror for Brancott Estate

“Dror’s appreciation for craftsmanship and holistic approach to design has a strong synergy with our brand values,” said Materman. “Transformation underpins all of his work and this reflects our history and spirit in a way that is truly exciting and pioneering.”

And for those looking to appreciate this geometric construction from a different, perhaps smaller angle, New York manufacturer Bengal Fierro has joined this partnership to create Present—a wine rack, and a nod to the in-the-moment nature of enjoying a bottle of wine. Fierro has taken the geometric measurements of Under/Standing and applied them to a steel, flat-packed wine rack that, once unfolded, can hold six bottles. Five hundred limited-edition wine racks have been produced, and a small amount will be available for purchased at the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre in Marlborough.

Through both of these creations, Dror shines his holistic approach to design, and the Brancott Estate interprets their pioneering ethos of winemaking. Cheers!






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