A,NEW forum for lovers of South African Pinot Noir has generated controversy before its launch, and all because of a set of breasts of the motherly variety.
At the heart of the matter is the logo for Allez Pinot, the Pinot forum which is to be launched later this month. The logo, based on French artist Eug?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?+¦+ëne Delacroix’s iconic 19th century painting “Liberty Leading the People”, shows a determined woman striding forth with a glass of Pinot Noir in her hand against a backdrop of Table Mountain. Like Delacroix’s figure, the Madame is so determined to lead her followers that she has not noticed her dress slipping from her torso, thus revealing a set of battle-ready breasts.
“If this randy image is used to promote Pinot Noir, I am never going to touch it again ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ the Pinot, I mean,” said Servaas Liebenberg, a grape grower from the Olifants River region. “There is enough smut and sensationalism around in the daily media, like Huisgenoot, Heat, Rapport and the Landbouweekblad‘s Merino Goat issue. Why must we see such things in the wine industry?”
Lebenberg’s sentiments were echoed by Megan Cumshod, marketing executive at a winery in the Southern Cape. “This image for Allez Pinot is chauvinistic, coarse and represents the exploitation of the female form to invoke lust among wine drinkers. It is especially demeaning to women who are trying their level best to be representative in a male-dominated industry where they are exposed to negative auras from sexism, discrimination and the Woman Winemaker of the Year Award. I just wish all men would grow up and stop seeing women in this light.”
According to Emile Joubert, spokesperson for Allez Pinot, permission to use the image had been sourced from Delacroix’s Parisian estate, providing that the essence of the Liberty figure remains intact.
“Allez Pinot passed the logo around for comment, and although most was favourable, it obviously ended up in the wrong hands,” says Joubert. “Pinot Noir lovers admire the grape’s feminine grace. To insinuate we are out to ridicule women through this image is absurd. I mean, if we used Jan Boland Coetzee marching topless through the vineyard?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-+?-+..would this offend?”
Joubert said that he had briefed design studio Spies Design to cover the offending breasts. “Both versions of the Allez Pinot logo will be put on line so that interested parties can vote for their preferred Pinot icon,” he says. “The resultant image would be used when Allez Pinot is launched later this month, and we promise to keep interested parties abreast of further developments.”