In his beautiful Natural History, Pliny the Elder wrote that the grapevine is the symbol of work, the nobility of cultivation, and worship. We might say that growing grapevines is a sacred act and, inspired by this idea, the meaning of the wine cellar is clear, as it is linked to grapevines, a deep spiritual symbol in the world’s most ancient sacred texts.
“The cellar and vineyard together are the material symbols of man and the land. Man and land, united from the moment man stopped his nomadic wandering and became rooted to one place. Mother Earth is a universally sacred value, and the wine cellar is the temple that I’ve dreamed of dedicating to her.”
The Solomeo cellar and the vineyard reflect the humanistic values that Lorenzo de’ Medici and Giuliano da Sangallo first expressed with the villa and the garden of Poggio a Caiano. Even here, like in that famous building, the structure is raised by a noble base and looks out over the countryside below with the vineyard – which is a garden – in the foreground, and further down, in the plains below, agricultural fields offset by fruit trees.
A statue of Bacchus has been placed at the entry to the cellar, visible from all over the countryside and from Solomeo, to symbolise the Greek origins of the beautiful relationship between man and landscape.