Monday, November 19, 2007

Creating a Label

Most wine consumers don’t understand how large of an investment a wine label is. Many large wine companies spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a label that’s eye-catching, communicates the right ideas and feelings, and that stands out on a store or supermarket shelf. It’s important – I have plenty of friends and family members who choose wines based solely on how the label looks. That tells you something.

With our wine being hand-sold, direct-to-consumer, we’re not worried about prominence on a shelf, but we do want something that encapsulates what our family, our wines, and our business stands for. And the challenge was taking all of this, and boiling it down into few enough words to give the designer. It was an interesting conversation, with a few of the best parts going something like this:

Bill: What about a giant eyeball? You know, looking into the future?

Kristy: Ew, gross. Who wants to drink a wine with a big eye staring at you?

Joe: What about using the number four? It would be easier for all the dyslexic people out there. Plus, it’s kind of gangsta’.

Kristy: I heard there are companies who can do scratch-and-sniff labels. How cool is that?

Nancy: Those always smell like bananas. Do you want your wine label to smell like bananas?

Needless to say, it took us a while to get down to business, but we did come up with some basic ideas:

  • The label must represent both the past and the future. It must look like it has a history, without looking too “country.” Our family has a long history on this land, but the entire idea of our winery is that we’re looking to the future, so the challenge is to meld both of those.
  • It must be sophisticated enough to adorn high-end Pinot Noir and other small-lots of hand-crafted wines.
  • Please, no hunter green, royal blue, or burgundy combined with gold. Make it more interesting than black cursive on a white background. And no farm animals.

Luckily, we chose a great designer: Gerald Reis ( The whole family met with him several times to discuss our vision for the label. Then we brought him to the property and gave him a tour. Armed with our ideas and suggestions, he’s working up a few options and we should have some drafts soon. We’re all pretty excited to see them.

1 comment:

travelinman said...

Looking forward to seeing your label...and tasting the wine that it represents.