Lawrence Dutra still abides by the mantra he established when he founded Vinesse more than 20 years ago: “We will always be more concerned with what’s in the bottle than what’s on the bottle.”
In other words, while a pretty label may be nice, a pretty wine will always be more important.
Yet there’s no escaping the fact that label design is a critically important part of the wine business. Consider that 330 million cases of wine are sold each year in the United States, most of it in supermarkets or other retail outlets. Displayed next to dozens or even hundreds of other bottles, that means any given bottle has only a split second to catch the consumer’s attention. In such environments, labels matter… and that means label design matters.
Dry Creek Vineyard revamped the design of its Sauvignon Blanc label for the 2014 vintage. “The new package is striking,” says Director of Marketing and Communications Bill Smart. “We have chosen to put all of the winemaking information on the front label. Our desire is to share the passion and authenticity with which this wine was made.”
Jackson Family Wines created a new brand called Liberated, designed to appeal to millennials, and had labels designed to, as Senior Communications Manager Corinne Watson puts it, “embody the millennial spirit of challenging conventions and expressing individuality through the different personas” depicted on the labels.
The next time you stroll down the wine aisle at your local supermarket, take a moment to see which labels catch your attention. In many cases, weeks or even months could have gone into their development.
And also take a deep breath of relief, knowing that the bottles you receive from Vinesse may look nice on the outside, but are all about the wine inside.