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Winemaking is an integral part of national culture and heritage, and therefore an important element of cultural diplomacy. With this in mind, several leading Ukrainian wineries have united their efforts under the new WATAGA brand, aiming to promote Ukrainian wine culture both locally and internationally.
Kyiv — Las Vegas
The name of the brand symbolizes the association of active, strong, positively charged people doing a common thing. Its creation at first had an exclusively pragmatic purpose — it was necessary to present Ukrainian wines at the large international wine event Access LIVE 2024 taking place in Las Vegas, USA, on 29.01-01.02.24.
It‘s common knowledge, however, that nothing will stop the idea when it‘s due time for it to be implemented. The creative process behind the new WATAGA brand gave impetus to the emergence of a real artistic collaboration, which is a reflection of social and cultural processes in Ukrainian society during the war.
Modern Ukrainian artists and designers were engaged in the development of the concept and labels of the wines included in the new brand.”The idea of uniting Ukrainian artists and Ukrainian winemakers to popularize our culture in the USA turned out to be extremely powerful and resonant,” says Oksana Buyachok, the owner of the Ternopil-based winery Father’s Wine and the ideologist of the project. — In the process of developing the concept for our new brand, we decided that it would be cool to introduce Americans not only to Ukrainian wine, but also to our young and prominent artists who create their artworks during the war while being actively engaged in volunteering, giving their earnings to support the Ukrainian army. This project is a sign of gratitude to them for their effort and talent, and a commemoration of the historical moment when all Ukrainians are doing their best to bring the day of our Victory closer.”
The following wineries joined the WATAGA brand:
More details about collaboration products and artists:
Father’s wine red blend 2022
The label of this wine shows an image of an open book with an excerpt from Serhii Zhadan’s poignantly romantic poem “Some are better at consonants”, a poem about a woman, eternal wisdom, eternal pain, eternal love. “When she said the word love, I could see blood on her teeth.”
Serhii Zhadan is a real hero of modern Ukrainian literature, an outstanding poet and prose writer, translator, musician and frontman of the band “Zhadan and the Dogs”, a public activist. He grew up in Luhansk region, and currently lives in Kharkiv. Zhadan’s literary works have won numerous national and international awards and have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Father’s wine white blend 2022
On the label there is a picture illustrating a frame from the video of the popular Ternopil music band Kozak System for their song called “Ukrainian sun”. For two years, millions of Ukrainians have been watching their sunrises and sunsets through the window panes sealed with construction tape, to keep them from falling out during missile attacks. This is a terrible sign of a terrible war, as well as a symbol of the unbreakable Ukrainian spirit.
The band Kozak System was created in 2012 by several musicians who previously played with another popular Ukrainian band named Haydamaky. The leader of the band is Ternopil musician and vocalist Ivan Lenyo. During the two years of the full-scale aggression in Ukraine, Kozak System organized more than 150 charity concerts, the proceeds of which went to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Chateau Pinot Pinot Blanc 2023
On the label, the idea of which was proposed by the Ukrainian writer Andrii Lyubka, there is a fragment of the map of Ukraine drawn by the French cartographer, Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan. From the first days of the Great War, Andriy Lyubka has been looking for used vehicles to purchase and transporting them to Ukraine, for the Ukrainian army units in the Eastern Front. This period of his life is closely associated with maps and roads. The writer believes that, symbolically, wine also walks its path.
Andriy Lyubka is a novelist, poet, translator and essayist, a member of the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine committee. Since February 2022, he has been a volunteer, actively supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine. During the entire war, he has provided the Armed Forces with about 200 pieces of equipment. For his input, Andriy Lyubka was awarded medals by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Minister of Defense of Ukraine.
Big Wines Big Art Ivan Marchuk Odesa Black
The label shows the fragment of “Awakening“, a painting by an outstanding Ukrainian artist, Ivan Marchuk. The painting was created 30 years ago, but it is extremely relevant today. Marchuk is the author of a special technique, “Plontanism”, in which thin intertwined lines merge into an image, have a dense texture and consist of web-like layers of paint. “Awakening” was also created in this technique.
Ivan Marchuk is well-known not only in Ukraine, but also abroad. In 2006, the International Academy of Contemporary Art in Rome admitted Ivan Marchuk to the “Golden Guild” and elected him an honorary member of the academic council. This was the first time a Ukrainian artist was recognized by an institution of such a high level. In October 2007, he was included in the “100 geniuses of our time” rating compiled by the British newspaper Daily Telegraph.
Kolonist Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
The label was created by the talented Ukrainian graphic artist, famous poster artist Nikita Titov. According to the author, wine is a romantic and bright accent in the modern world, which has recently turned black and white.
Each poster created by Nikita Titov is a reflection on an acute topic. The author’s heart and mind are extremely sensitive to everything happening in his beloved country. Nikita’s work is inextricably linked with the modern history of Ukraine, and lately it has been completely dedicated to the war in Ukraine — dramatic events, the fight, indomitability and heroism of Ukrainians.
Villa Tinta collection of sparkling wines
The labels of this series of three white sparkling wines — two Bruts and and one Semi-Sweet — have been created by the artist Serhii Maidukov and called “Crimea”, “Khersonshchyna” and “Donetsk”. These are the names of regions of Ukraine that are famous for their wines and are also under Russian occupation. This is Ukrainian land, caressed by the Ukrainian sun. And we will definitely win it back.
Serhiy Maidukov is a Ukrainian artist born in Donetsk. Currently, Serhiy is a columnist for world-renowned media such as The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Die Zeit, The Economist, The Atlantic and many others.
Villa Tinta Rose sparkling wine
The label features the work of the Ukrainian artist and designer Serge Payet. It depicts the Tree of Life, a symbol of family continuity and prosperity, adorned with a playful couple representing love. Serge Payet is known for his collaboration with Etat Libre d’Orange perfumery and Cartier jewelry house. He works in the directions of OP Art, Neo Pop Art, Collage and Ceramic. His creativity is inspired by Ukrainian “vyryvanka” — a traditional type of folk art, where various decorations and charms are intricately cut out of paper.
From the first day of the war, the artist together with his colleagues weaves camouflage nets for the army, jokingly calling it “macrame for the new collection.”
Medovy Spas Sikera red (red mead)
The label features a lovely drawing by Marko Galanevych, the frontman of the famous Ukrainian music band DakhaBrakha, creating music in their own style called ethno-chaos. The picture drawn in the style of “Ukrainian naïve” shows the band’s musicians in stage costumes.
Every performance of DakhaBrakha is an incredible, crazy performance, a real emotional catharsis, a wild mix of Ukrainian folklore, trip-hop, jazz, rock and roll. The musicians of DakhaBrakha have been given hundreds of standing ovations at the concert venues of Ukraine, Europe and beyond.
What is Access LIVE?
Formerly known as the WSWA Annual Convention & Exposition, Access LIVE is the premier wine and spirits industry event for access and discovery.
Access LIVE offers the highest concentration of American distributor decision-makers than any other industry event, with 2,500+ attendees from all over the US.
Nearly 25% of the attendees are distributors.
67% of distributor attendees are Vice President or C-Suite level executives.
Access LIVE attendees distribute more than 80% of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States (the U.S. wine & spirits wholesale market is worth over $69 Billion).
All 50 states and DC are represented at Access LIVE.
With more than 400+ exhibiting spaces available, Access LIVE will bring together hundreds of established and up-and-coming brands and thousands of unique products.