About Ozymandias Wines
The idea for Ozymandias Wines began in the spring of 2013 when founder Rafe D'Amico looked to marry his two greatest loves: art and wine. The goal of Ozymandias Wines is to build an art legacy through the enjoyment of wine.
Wine has always been a passion for Ozymandias Wines' President and founder, Rafe D'Amico. Rafe grew-up enjoying wine at an early age and making homemade wine with family members - a familiar story for many Italian Americans. Rafe's love of wine evolved into the Ozymandias Wines project in early 2013 when he looked to marry his two greatest loves: wine and art. "I hope to look back in ten or twenty years, and see ten or twenty art projects which Ozymandias Wines helped create," is often heard from D'Amico when discussing Ozymandias Wines. A true passion project for D'Amico, as he works full time in the media industry and his predominantly volunteer staff allows him to put the bulk of Ozymandias Wines' proceeds into the hands of artists for their benefiting projects. D'Amico comments, "It's truly a joy to make a top quality wine for our customers to enjoy, while knowing we are also a part of creating something very special (the art projects) to hopefully stand the test of time."
Laurel Lake Vineyards
All of the Long Island Ozymandias wine is estate grown at Laurel Lake Vineyards which is nestled in the heart of Long Island Wine Country, in Laurel, New York. Laurel Lake Vineyards was acquired in 1999 by four Chilean and American vintner friends with a passion for wine. Long Island posesses a unique blend of natural beauty and a quiet atmosphere that brings many experienced and beginner wine lovers to this area. With its award winning wines and family geared atmosphere, Laurel Lake Vineyards is a beloved vineyard in the North Fork of Long Island. Visit Laurel Lake Vineyards website for more information about the Long Island Vineyard and their wines. Click Here
Laurel Lake Vineyard's Winemaker Juan Sepúlveda is a fifth generation Chilean Winemaker. After studying Engineering in college, Juan decided to follow his passion for wine and the art of wine making. Along with being the original Winemaker for Laurel Lake Vineyards, Juan Sepúlveda is also a partner at Laurel Lake. Laurel Lake Vineyards partnered with Ozymandias to create a wine blend that is perfect for experienced and beginner wine drinkers.
Sophy Holland is a British-born Photographer, Director and Creative Director. She studied at Central St. Martins in London and started her career as a painter before transitioning to Art Direction for both editorial and advertising clients in NYC and London. After being selected as the inaugural featured artist on the front label of the '16 release of Ozymandias, Sophy agreed to join the Ozymandias Wines team as a Creative Consultant and will help select future benefiting artists. For more information about Sophy and her work visit her website.
The Story Behind the Label Name
A message for guests from Ozymandias Wines' founder, Rafe D'Amico:
Many people ask me why I chose the name “Ozymandias Wines” for this project, so I’d like to share in detail the meaning behind the name.
“Ozymandias” is the Greek name for Ramesses II, who many regard as the greatest and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. It’s also the name of a poem written by Percy Shelley in 1818, about the plundering of relics from Ramesses II’s tomb by France and Britain. In particular the nations were after a giant statue of Ramesses II, and where Napoleon previously failed the British Empire succeed in acquiring the artistic treasure for the British Museum in 1816. Shelley’s poem gives commentary to the rise and eventual fall of all leaders and empires, and mocks their perceived pretensions of magnificence and immortality during their peaks. The poem might even foreshadow the eventual fate of the mighty British and French Empires, who were the modern empires of the time, which were pillaging artistic artifacts from empires of the past. Ozymandias reigned from 1279-1213 BC, but like the leaders leaders of the French and British Empires, Ramesses II eventually died, and the empires they all built declined.
To me there is a deeper message in Shelley’s poem, which is the only tangible voice left to tell the stories of all these leaders and the cultures from empires of the past is the art they leave behind. This cycle and inevitable fate struck a chord with me, and was especially poignant in the not too distant past during the “Great Recession,” of ‘2007-2010. The irony of when the only supposed modern day “Superpower” was going through economic adversity, one of the first things our leaders and government looked to cut or do away with were art programs. All of a sudden schools were losing music and art classes, and funding to countless art projects ceased. I realize there are basic human needs which take priority over someone’s art project, but to me art captures our history and conveys our shared humanity even with whom we see as our enemies. Sometimes all which remains of a culture is their art and the things which they’ve created to tell their story. It’s during this time, with these events, I recalled Shelley’s poem, and looked to marry my two greatest passions of wine and art.
It's important to me that people know when they’re drinking a bottle of Ozymandias Wines they’re doing much more than enjoying a fantastic bottle of finely handcrafted wine; they are also helping to build an art legacy through the enjoyment of that wine. Thank you for reading and for participating in this shared vision.
Ozymandias - the poem, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."