Wine art classes have become a favorite activity for Scarpa Villas guests – because it’s not the standard ‘paint with wine’ experience. In the middle of Italian wine country, of course, your glass is filled with it, but with this experience, wine is the paint.  


We are beyond excited to spotlight one of our favorite area artists, Purpleryta from Barolo, Italy. Since opening The Villas in 2018, Rita’s wine art classes have been a popular on-site activity.

These wine art classes last about an hour – longer for larger groups or more involved programs. Generally, our guests choose her Wine Art Label Painting Experience. Rita explains her artistic vision and concept of painting with wine – then actually paints with guests to show them how it is done. Everyone enjoys a glass (or a few!) of wine with local bites.

Don’t worry – she encourages everyone to be their own artistic guide with their wine art; she simply takes you through her process to get started.

To share more about this unique experience, our property manager Katariina sat down with Rita to learn more about her background and work.

wine artLet’s talk painting with wine   

KATARIINA: Ciao Rita, how are you? We have had such a great response to your on-site wine art classes, so we wanted to share a bit more about it with guests of Scarpa Villas. The idea itself – to actually paint with wine – is so cool. How did you think of it?

RITA: Grazie, Kata! It’s been such a pleasure to work with guests at The Villas. I always look forward to classes here – the views never get old!

Wine communication has long been my day job with painting an after-hours activity. At a certain point the two merged and I started to paint with wine.

Surrounded by wine in a wine shop that I’d decorated, I simply decided to try to give meaning to a drop of wine on paper. It’s been incredible to watch how it’s all taken shape, seeing what others make from their spots of wine.

I’ve now traveled all over the world with my wine art classes – the USA, Asia, around Europe.

KATARIINA: Wow. That is incredible. When did you start and what was your first piece?

RITA: For my first pieces I did three different big spots using dolcetto, barbera, and Barolo. When the wine dried I completed the artwork. I saw in the three spots messy hair…so I painted three women – very minimal – one with hands over her eyes, the second hands over her ears, and the third hands over her mouth…like the three monkeys. My first Messy Haired Women.

KATARIINA: Tell us more about your background.

RITA: Sure. As I mentioned, I’ve always worked in wine, first for a PR agency focusing on wine events, then a Consorzio for promotional events abroad as well as for wine producers. I always knew I wanted to do Communications as I studied it at Turin University.

So, as I said earlier, Communications was always my main work while I more quietly explored my creative side on my time. For a long time I wanted to be an actress and painting was my second hobby. It was a very private activity but at a certain point – at the age of 40 – I changed my life, making painting my primary hobby. And, then my main activity.

KATARIINA: I absolutely love that. You have such a gift. Now you offer wine art classes to tourists and wine lovers on your travels, teaching them how to paint with wine. At Scarpa Villas, you often do special wine label projects with our clients. How did you come up with that?

RITA: When people started asking me to teach them wine art classes – painting with wine – I began to paint with them. For me, I can’t teach it, I have to explain what I do. The first thing with wine painting is to know wine, beyond the glass. To know how it acts on paper.

When you understand that you can try to paint and to find your own style. I am not the first to paint with wine and I won’t be the last but I do it my own style. That’s the secret!

KATARIINA: What gives you the most inspiration? You have various recurring themes… superstars, Donne Spettinate – the ladies with messy hair, and many others. Tell us more about that.

wine artRita at The Villas with some of her Donne Spettinate work: The ladies with messy hair

RITA: The inspiration is always born from that first drop of wine. It activates creativity and lateral thinking. From an abstract shape, you can make a figurative painting by adding details. So my favorite subjects are the Spettinate.

The first kiss and the first glass of wine are the best. 

~ Marty Rubin

KATARIINA: You have created many different items from wine (corks etc.) and your Swing Project is splendid! Can clients visit your studio in Barolo at an agreed time?

RITA: I use all the remains of every bottle: corks, labels, caps to create jewels, and accessories (ring, earrings, necklaces, bracelets) according to my philosophy: wine is a natural dye, it respects nature, so my accessories are eco-friendly and made with recycled materials.

The Swing Project is a state of mind that took the shape of a swing on the balcony of my studio in Barolo village. Those who swing on it come back to childhood! People can visit my atelier to see and purchase my works.

KATARIINA: Well, thank you so much for your time and we can’t wait for things to get back to normal with tourism and this fabulous on-site activity. Let us know if readers can book virtual wine art classes! And, anything else you want to add!

RITA: For virtual wine art classes, I’m working on it! Anyone interested can message me and we can arrange it!

I think the last thing I’d mention is that I mainly use wines from the Langhe, according to the different colors; only good quality wines have good colors. Sometimes I save bottles of wine that are not perfect to drink, I give them a second chance to have a very long life. I know the value of wine so I do not waste wine!

As I am an artist my target is to give a message: while I am pouring the wine on the paper the message is: Stop! Our land has more than wine and food to offer! There is art, architecture, natural beauty. And that message goes for both visitors and wine producers.

Painting with wine for me means communicating wine in another way, in a way that I was not used to in my past.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL with Purpleryta Wine Art

painting with wine