McCall artist Donna Bernstein — known for her abstract paintings of horses — collaborated with Rob Morse, winemaker and owner of Morse Wines’ Il Gioiello (Joy-yellow) Winery in Amador County, Calif., on the label for a new wine that will benefit the American wild mustang.
Morse found Bernstein’s “Into the Light” painting at her The Art of Donna B online gallery and approached her to use it to create a label for his new wine series called HorsePlay. The first is a red wine blend of Mourvedre, Montepulciano and Barbera. It’s a blend of French and Italian grapes that Morse selected to pair with lamb, says winery spokeswoman Lisa Cunningham.
Fifteen percent of the wine’s sales will benefit Return to Freedom, a 300-acre sanctuary for wild mustangs where six family herds of mustangs live. The goal of the organization is to preserve the genetic diversity among the breed.
The organization counts environmental activists Robert Redford and Idaho’s Carole King among its supporters.
This is the first of four labels Bernstein may do, if the wine is successful, Cunningham says.
HorsePlay will be released on May 3 during Return to Freedom’s annual “Wild Horses and Wild Flowers” benefit at its ranch in Lompoc, Calif., when the horses are released from their winter paddocks to their spring pastures.
Bernstein’s original painting will be part of Return to Freedom’s silent auction that day, along with a mixed case of Morse wines signed by the winemaker.
HorsePlay retails for $25 and will be available later in May on Il Gioiello’s website. The wines are not available in Idaho.