The choice was Piero Leddi’s idea, an Italian contemporary artist, who also designed the Soldera wine label. In ancient Greek culture, the dolphin was the sacred animal of the god Dionysus (known to the Romans as Bacchus), the god of happiness who taught man how to grow vines, the god of wine.
In mythology, Dionysus was captured by pirates who tied him to the ship’s mast: at this point the god avenged himself on them by transforming them into dolphins and, to earn forgiveness they always showed pity towards those who were shipwrecked.
Legend also tells us how the dolphins helped Dionysus save his beloved Ariadne, who had been abandoned on an island by Theseus. The dolphin is also associated with fertility and life. In Christian symbolism the dolphin represents Christ the Saviour of men in the ocean of life, an important image in a culture where wine has an extraordinary symbolic significance:
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread…this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (The book of Matthew, chapter 26)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit…
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (The book of John, chapter 15)
“And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine…And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” (The book of John, chapter 2)
The image designed by Piero Leddi is a trademark owned by Gianfranco Soldera and comes from a Greek plate dating back a number of centuries before Christ, that the artist was liberally inspired by and which also symbolises the “S” of the Soldera brand.