The Pino Solo Wine Tree


Now in its fifth year, Napa Valley’s Newton Vineyard presents the latest installation of its Eco Chic collection. A collaboration with Derek Chen, this limited-edition wine rack is a simple yet stunning design of a tree, comprised of a 75% post-consumer stainless steel “trunk” and a base created from discarded wine barrels, a by-product of the vineyard.

Chen is the founder of Council Inc., a San Francisco-based company formed after he felt an absence of American representation in the international design world. Newton Winemaker Chris Millard approached Chen with intrigue about his simple and streamlined creations; after the two spent a day roaming the beautiful land of Newton Vineyard, Chen spotted the Pino Solo, a proud tree standing atop Newton’s highest point.

Inspired by the distinct yet seamless mark the Pino Solo left on the terrain, Chen went into his studio with the intention of designing a piece that would encompass a bit of nature’s signature touch on Newton. The wine rack was created with the purpose of leaving the stored wine as the focal imagery, and so the steel skeleton of the piece was molded to allow each bottle to settle into a niche, each niche part of a grander design that forms an elegant, sophisticated final structure: the Pino Solo Wine Tree.

When choosing the wine rack’s materials, Chen had both his own intuitive objectives as well as the sustainable philosophy of Newton Vineyard in mind. The two happen to go hand-in-hand, and the final result is a product that encapsulates both Chen’s sensibility when it comes to eco-responsibility as well as Newton’s environmentally-conservative practice. Millard explains, “Newton Vineyard was founded on the belief that winemaking should be an artistic collaboration with nature, long before it was fashionable to do so.”

Millard and Newton Vineyard began the Eco Chic collection with the hopes of building a bridge between their wine mastery and a wider artistic community. The pieces of the line provide wine connoisseurs with a space fitting enough to display bottles as precious as any other work of art. The Pino Solo Wine Tree is able to present itself as a centerpiece of the room without dominating the space through elaborate ornamentation.

The rack’s 54-inch stance alone beckons for the eye’s attention, but Chen’s use of eight stainless steel rods hand-bent into repeated hexagons creates an interesting, modern blend of the tree theme juxtaposed with a futuristic metal touch, rather than lush greenery. It is this unique combination of the natural and the man-made that encompasses Chen’s signature style. His balanced approach to modern design is what has gained him notoriety throughout the international community of his peers.

With production restricted to one-hundred pieces, the opportunity to own this one-of-a-kind design is limited, to say the least. A must-have for the modern day wine enthusiast with a keen eye for the arts, this piece can be purchased in stores in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago, as well as online.

Text by Kate Zaliznock