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The Grapegrower & Winemaker inbox receives plenty of interesting emails on label redesigns and new releases throughout the year. Camellia Aebischer put together a collection of highlights from 2017.


There’s no doubt that a focus to lift Australian brands toward a more premium market is happening nationwide. Whether it’s to push export markets or solidify a reputation domestically, it seems like every wine this year was released in the 20 something dollar price range.

Toward this more premium price point we see extra room for thoughtful packaging and design, and a shift toward cleaner labels, with sound narrative demonstrated in the design.

Deakin Estate

Inspired by the mighty Murray River, Deakin Estate have released a new label series taking inspiration from the live-giving water source.

The Murray River stretches for over 2500 kilometres and waters the vines that grow Deakin Estate’s range. Deakin Estate’s viticulturist Craig Thornton is highly regarded for his meticulous irrigation trials in conjunction with research bodies such as the CSIRO.

“My approach is to create a balanced vine canopy.  Irrigation is our main tool in achieving this, as it is something we can manage each year to complement our warm, dry climate.  We create the right vine architecture to manage cropping levels, while capturing the best possible flavours,” said Thornton.

The ‘River to Vine’ labels were designed by Melbourne’s Beetle Creative and are presented on Lean + Green lightweight bottles, which adhere to Deakin’s environmentally friendly approach.

 

De Bortoli

Just in time for summer, De Bortoli have released a new-look premium cask range, inspired by the wines of France.

“Travel through the south of France and you’ll often see wine being poured into a carafe out of a bag-in-box,” said De Bortoli in a written statement.

The brand has recently refreshed their 2 litre cask range of wines with a contemporary look and the promise of bottle quality, with the convenience and freshness of bag-in-box.

“Travel through the south of France and you’ll often see wine being poured into a carafe out of a bag-in-box,”

 

The clean and simple design is aimed at raising the bar for bag-in-box wine, which has suffered a bad reputation in Australia due to alcohol taxation laws. The practical packaging is aimed at picnics, camping and summer BBQ’s.

 

McWilliams

Inspired by the Hilltops region of New South Wales, McWilliams have released a new McW range, with a premium focus.

The gold foil design illustrates the altitude which is specified for each wine on the label, and in the name.

“The McW 480 and 660 Reserve ranges personify everything we love about cool climate wine. Pure and elegant, yet intense wines; with great natural balance making them perfect for so many occasions and a wonderful introduction to the character and quality that come from these exciting regions,” said winemaker Jim Chatto.

The McW 480 and 660 Reserve wines are each named after the respective altitude that the grapes are ripened at. In the 480 range there is a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Shiraz, and the 660 reserve hosts a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and two Shiraz’s.

 

Natasha Mooney

In 1867 Mr John ‘Walter’ Mooney, along with his stockman and local butcher, was charged with stealing the neighbour’s cow and slaughtering it with a mob of his own.

Mooney grew up in the South Australian town of Melrose, and was an early settler, surveyor and poundkeeper.

Upon his death 50 years later, Mooney was essentially excommunicated and disallowed a Catholic burial.  This slight from the church set the tone for the Mooney family religious persuasions.

In honour of Walter, the damned cow and a stolen religion, winemaker Natasha Mooney launched her new range, The Thief.

The wines were made using Shiraz grapes from Mooney’s own vineyard, as well as Grenache and Mataro from her neighbours block.

“It’s a great collaboration with our neighbour,” commented Natasha. “Something we believe firmly in, even if the constabulary of old didn’t.”

The range compliments Mooney’s current label, La Bise.

 

Patritti Winery

South Australian winery, Patritti Winery, have launched a new label series marking their entry in to the contemporary domestic market.

The design was inspired by Patritti’s founder, Giovanni Patritti, as well as the brand’s 91 years of history in Australian wine. The clean labels feature copies of old photographs throughout Patritti’s history, overlayed with the label’s name in a bold, simple text.

The design was inspired by Patritti’s founder, Giovanni Patritti, as well as the brand’s 91 years of history in Australian wine.

 

The new batch of labels, known as the ‘Merchant Series’ is available in six varieties; a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, GSM, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Patritti stated that their premium wines, bottled under screwcap with bold label design and an attractive price point are sure to interest a variety of consumers.

 

Penfolds

In October, Penfolds shook up the ultra-premium sector with the introduction of their first ever Grange blend. The wine is titled the g3, and combines vintages from 2008, 2012 and 2014 – the best three years for Grange.

Each bottle is hand dipped in red wax, labelled with a batch number, and finished with an embossed crest and name.

 

The wine was released in a new look bottle with all of the fittings of a premium wine, and a premium price tag to match ($3000).

Each bottle is hand dipped in red wax, labelled with a batch number, and finished with an embossed crest and name.

The design is clean and simple and doesn’t sport too many extra embellishments. After all, if you’re picking up a $3000 bottle of wine, it’s likely you will know exactly what’s in it without having to read the label first.

 

Samuel’s Gorge

Illustrated by artist, Carmine Bellucci, ‘The Piñata People’ was a collaborative branding package produced by Cornershop Design and The Illustration Room for Samuel’s Gorge winery.

In September, the designs won two Finalist gongs in the Packaging and Design Crafts categories at the 2017 Australian Graphic Design Association Awards.  Illustrating the design of the packaging to the wine’s taste and style is in part what makes this label so appealing. The Samuel’s Gorge website reads in its description of the 2016 Piñata People Gamay:

The Piñata People Gamay is all about the merriment of spring and the celebration of our endless summers.

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