Wine labelling is such an important aspect to marketing a wine. Today it needs to meet legal labelling requirements and also be able to communicate what is inside the bottle and attract a consumer to purchase the product.
To understand the importance of labelling on wine we need to understand when, where and why wine labelling began. We need to find out how it changed through the ages, and when it really developed and became governed by laws. We will find out what is currently happening with labelling and where it is heading for the future and the impact this may have on the industry.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest wine production came from sites in Georgia and Iran, dating from 6000 to 5000 BC. Although it isn’t completely clear when and where exactly wine was produced as there are many sites withevidence that may suggest early wine making. However pottery is an excellent indicator that wine was being made and stored and the development of pottery was an important part of being able to produce wine in domesticated terms – in bulk and the ability to be stored and transported, and identified.It was the ancient Egyptians who first recorded label details that are still required by law today; including vintage, growing region or vineyard, and winemaker. This shows the early awareness of quality and preferences by early civilisations. This can be dated back to 1352 BC when buried with Egypt’s King Tut, were jars of wine with detailed etchings. These bottles were unearthed in 1922 by archeologist Howard Carter. (http://www.oenologist.com/wine-label-art.htm)
A lot of information on the beginning of wine making comes from seal-inscriptions on wine jars, tomb depictions or textual sources, as well as chemical analysis on jars that once contained wine. Sealing inscriptions show that each vineyard had its unique name, most of them having religious associations.Egyptions labelled their wine on parchment stating the vintage, vineyard and winemaker and attached it to the handle with a piece of string or through etching it onto the pot for storage.Often wine was only for royalty or the elite and was used for special celebration. On occasion the masses joined in to enjoy the luxury of wine a few times a year. However wine labels have been found in garbage dumps that could have been given to workers or soldiers for payment or reward. (Egyptomania/wine.htm, 2010)
For quite some time wine was sold within a region and the wine was known and had a reputation. However the movement of civilisation with developing modes of transport and storage meant that wine was reaching further distances and needed more specific identification for consumers who didn’t know the region of cultivation, the reputation of a vineyard and it’s winemakers. These key identifiers were all that wine carried for quite some time until the 18th century and the arrival of glass bottles due to better glass-blowers and Dom Pierre Perignon who has been a key influence in Champagne and the oldest hand written label found in history attached to one of his bottles by a piece of string. (Winebottlelabels,2010)The first true etiquettes, similar to our familiar modern labels, started to be issued by Champagne houses around 1820. Soon producers vied to outdo one another in originality and imagination. As they developed labels for special events and remarkable personalities, the Champagne labels became mirrors of history and culture.
In the 19th Century (1800’s) glass bottles and corks made a come back. Labels were still being attached on parchments by string or they labelled onto the bottle through crude methods of printing. Lithography was invented in 1796 allowing labels to be made in mass production. The first paper labels that stuck sufficiently (with glue that truly adhered) to glass were made in the early 1900’s. (History Wine Labels, 2010).With labels becoming a way to for a winery to express where it came from or it’s philosophy and become immediately identifiable, labels started to show a coat of arms or the landscape of it’s region. Eventually in the 1920’s the grandson of Mouton Rothschild, Phillipe Rothschild, became a big influencer for art on labels. He enlisted famous artists of the time to create original designs to enhance the marketing ability of the wines. This became a permanent practice of the winery in 1946, and the tradition has only been broken a couple of times since for special commemorations.
In 1993, French painter BalthusKlossowski de Rola was commissioned to submit original art for the label - a design of his choosing. He created a line drawing of a nude woman. His art was rejected for distribution in the United States, so Philippe put out the vintage with a blank label honoringBalthus’ work – a notable snub to conservative US importing laws, and an immediate value driver to collectors. (Wine Label Art, 2010)The label on Cycles Gladiator wine, produced by Hahn Family Wines in Soledad, California., shows a vintage 1895 advertising poster for Cycles Gladiator bicycles. The French poster features a nude nymph flying beside a winged bicycle. Alabama's liquor regulations prohibit labels with "a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner”.The winery could change the label for that particular state but the winery stands behind it’s label and all it stands for.
Today there are many laws to regulate wine labelling and if you are a wine business, when labelling wine you must take into consideration regulation, the information you wish to relay to your consumers and the manner in which you want to convey it.Main requirements on a label are: Name or variety, net content, alcohol percentage, producer and importer details, brand name, sulphites, allergens, standard drinks and geographical location or appellation.Every country having different regulations for exports makes it difficult to design the label. Often mandatory information is shown on the front label and the back label can be easily changed to keep costs down and keep consistency.This is very common when exporting to USA, EU and Australia as their rules are similar.A good rule to remember when labelling wine is that it should follow the rule of 85%. If it states that it is a 2007 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc then 85% of the wine should be from the 2007 vintage, 85% should be from sauvignon blanc grapes and 85% should be from the Marlborough region.New Zealand can use the labelling regulation to it’s advantage by branding “New Zealand Wine” on labels, especially when New Zealand wine has a growing reputation for great sought after wine.
The main laws governing the labelling of wine for sale in New Zealand are the Food Act 1981 (which incorporates the standards found in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code), the Food (Safety) Regulations 2002, the Weights and Measures Regulations 1999, the Wine Act 2003, the Wine Regulations 2006, the Wine (Specifications) Notice 2006, and the Fair Trading Act 1986.
Wine is getting even more artsy and innovative and becoming a way for sellers of wine to express an attitude or impression of a wine on a consumer. These labels from Oggau Estate, Austria, below show a winery that developed faces that carry similarities of the characters/personality their wine displays. Can you figure out and imagine what to expect from some of these wines? Perhaps a young sophisticated red or a developed red with lots of character?
Wine Fraud is becoming more of an issue with people duplicating labels and attaching them and passing them off as authentic. Counterfeiting is big business and is no different to the fake handbags, watches and clothing that is out there. Wine fraud affects a wineries reputation and the bottom line for profits. Fakes can be big money and with the internet today the market is practically unlimited. The wine industry tends to “hide” wine fraud to protect the reputations of the wineries. In 2000 Italian police confiscated 16,000 bottles of fake Sassicaia, one of Italy's most highly prized red wines. It was picked up due to a distributor noticing a excess amount on the market. The only difference was some embossing an dull colours on the label. Todays printing resources makes it possible for anyone to make a label.Another issue in the past has been not being true of the blend or type of grape that the wine consists of and this is how we have the rule of 85% to represent the true contents of the wine. (www.decanter.com,2000).
The labelling of wine today is quickly becoming an ingenious way to be creative and think outside the box in the way wine is being marketed. Bfrank has come up with this cheeky label that allows the consumer to write their own message on the bottle. Lazarus Wines has their label printed in Braille. Wines from this vineyard are grown, cultivated, and produced by blind employees.
As long as you don’t store these wines in your garage (especially next to the turpentine), you’re in for a tasty treat of packaging design. The Mini Garage Wines and Brandies by Anthony Hammond have a literal conception– Hammond’s wine is produced in a former tractor shop in Germany. The packaging is amongst the most creative on this list, although we’re skeptical on their ability to preserve the original flavor of the product. Perhaps its the condition of the rusty turpentine cans in our own garage
To know where wine labelling is heading we quite simply need to look at the current concerns and affairs of the world and the wine market and the growing trends within the industry.The world is becoming more conscious of environmental issues and brings with it the need for sustainability, organic growing and recycling. The wine consumer is becoming more aware of the sustainable and organic labels on the wines and are seeking more information about the winery and what it stands for and look for the representation of it on the label.Wine fraud is getting more difficult with wineries using UV inks, holograms, embossed labels and microscopic markers.Wine may also become much more globalised in the way big players buy out smaller wineries where brand evolution will prevail and the large conglomerates will source from different places around the world with their label on the wine. This crystal ball gazing of course is on the basis that nothing largely changes and doesn’t really consider such things as a world war or extreme global warming and the impacts these could create. Wineries that don’t keep up with changing needs and wants of the consumer or don’t convey those aspects on labels will not last long in this ever changing and this now fast paced industry.
In a society where consumption nearly always ends with waste, the Wine Case Lamp is a bold statement. After you finish this bottle, its case can be constructed into a fully functional (and well-designed) slatted lamp. Just pop the cork, fill up a few glasses and let there be light. A perfect example of the direction wineries need to start heading to continue to play in the ever changing global market.
BibliographyCreative and unique wine label designs. (2010, August 06). Retrieved August 06, 2010, from www.thecoolist.com: http://www.thecoolist.com/amazing-wine-labels-30-creative-and-unique-wine-label-designs/Egyptomania/wine.htm. (2010, August 10). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from www.arabworldbooks.com: http://www.arabworldbooks.com/egyptomania/wine.htmen.wikipedia.org. (2010, August 10). Retrieved August 07, 2010, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_wineHistory Wine Labels. (2010, August 12). Retrieved August 12, 2010, from www.ehow.com: http://www.ehow.com/about_5124816_history-wine-labels.htmlhttp://ewineplanet.com/menu.asp?id=1. (2010, August 10). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from ewineplanet.com: http://ewineplanet.com/menu.asp?id=1Lavista Church of Christ. (2010, August 10/08/2010). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVarticles/images/EgyptianVineyards.jpg.Wine Label Art. (2010, August 13). Retrieved August 2010, 2010, from www.oenologist.com: http://www.oenologist.com/wine-label-art.htmWinebottlelabels. (2010, August 10). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from www.winebottlelabels.org: http://winebottlelabels.org/www.andrewjefford.com. (2010, August 18). Retrieved August 18, 2010, from www.andrewjefford.com: http://www.andrewjefford.com/node/717www.decanter.com. (2000, July 08). Retrieved August 17, 2010, from www.decanter.com: http://www.decanter.com/news/news.php?id=47072www.winebusiness.com. (2010, August 18). Retrieved August 18, 2010, from www.winebusiness.com: http://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=getArticle&dataId=17438
Where to for labelling of the future?</li></li></ul><li>Beginnings of wine & it’s labels<br />Earliest wine production - sites in Georgia and Iran, dating from 6000 to 5000 BC.<br />Pottery was an important part of being identified through labelling.<br />Ancient Egyptians = labelled vintages, vineyard & winemakers. <br />Wine jars etched with wine details found in King Tut’s tomb. = 1352 BC.<br />
Civilised wine drinking. . . . . . . . <br />Often wine was for religious purpose , royalty and the elite<br />Egyptians labelled wine by parchment by a piece of string or inscribed onto the clay pot itself. <br />Jars have been found in garbage dumps used by the masses of ‘commoners’. Soldiers and workers rewards or payment perhaps?<br />
Better storage & modes of transport meant wine went further and increased the importance of labelling to identify it.<br />The basic requirement of vintage, vineyard and winemaker on a label was sufficient for hundreds of centuries or not at all.<br />The 18th Century and the increased use of bottles and arrival of French monk Dom Pierre Perignon.<br />
1800’s, glass bottles were more popular<br />1796 = Lithography was invented, allowing printing in mass quantity.<br />1900’s Paper labels were made and able to stick to the bottle (after they found the right glue of course)<br />For Arts Sake<br />Wineries started using their own unique features (coat of arms or landscape art)<br />Labels expressing much more =1920’s Phillipe Rothschild commissioned famous artists to create original designs for the labels of the Chateau Mouton de Rothschild.<br />
Controversial Labels<br />1993 French painter BelthusKlossowski – US rejected the wine for the art on the bottle, a blank label went out as a snub to the US and created a collectors item. <br />Cycles Gladiator wines had this wine banned in 2009 in US, Alabama for the controversial label<br />Is this artistic expression or offensive material?<br />
Labels today & the regulations . . . . . . <br />NZ & Oz major label requirements:<br />Name/variety<br />Net content/amount<br />Alcohol percentage<br />Producer /importer details<br />Brand name<br />Sulphites<br />Allergens<br />Standard drinks<br />Geographical location <br />Different Countries label laws can make labelling export wine difficult<br />Often front main labels are kept consistent and back labels are changed for different export markets.<br />NZ wine industry has an advantage to create the “New Zealand wine” brand.<br />Rule of 85% - if it states it on the label it must contain at least 85%.<br />
Do you judge a wine by it’s cover?<br />Oggau Winery designed labels with faces that carry similarities of the characters/personality their wine displays.<br /> Can you figure out and imagine what to expect from some of these wines?<br /> Perhaps a young sophisticated red or a developed red with lots of character?<br />Oggau Estate <br />
Labels & Wine Fraud<br />Wine fraud and labels = Duplication of a well known labels of wine.<br />It’s no different to fake Gucci handbags, fake Rolex watches & counterfeiters can make thousands in percent in returns.<br />It’s something the wine industry avoids at all costs in both the trade itself but also admitting it happens more than we realise.<br />With printing resources available today, almost anyone can copy a label and slap it on some bottles.<br />In 2000 Italian police confiscated 16,000 bottles of fake Sassicaia wine worth NZ$200-250 each.<br />
Message on a bottle…....<br />Left: This bottle has been made for the consumer to personalise the message on the bottle<br />Right: This wine by Lazarus WInes has come from a vineyard grown, cultivated and produced by blind employees – it only makes sense to have the label in braille. There is a n English description at the bottom.<br />
These wines have been marketed in a specific way due to the wine being produced in a former tractor shop. It could be a plus or a minus depending on the consumers opinion. Would you like to drink from a turpentine tin or do you think it’s inventive ?<br />
The future of labelling<br />Current world affairs and changing times are excellent indicators of where wine labelling is heading<br />Environmental issues<br />Sustainable winegrowing<br />Organic winegrowing<br />More advance labelling with UV inks, holograms, embossed labels & microscopic markers that discourages fraud<br />Wineries need to keep up & convey the message the consumer responds to best to survive in todays wine market.<br />
Branding, packaging of the future. . . . . . . .<br />New designs & uses for packaging & labelling are being sought to set businesses and their wines apart from each other and catch the consumers interest.<br />This lamp is a prime example of sellers identifying the consumers growing concerns for consumption meeting environmental needs and style.<br />
Bibliography<br />Creative and unique wine label designs. (2010, August 06). Retrieved August 06, 2010, from www.thecoolist.com: http://www.thecoolist.com/amazing-wine-labels-30-creative-and-unique-wine-label-designs/<br />Egyptomania/wine.htm. (2010, August 10). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from www.arabworldbooks.com: http://www.arabworldbooks.com/egyptomania/wine.htm<br />en.wikipedia.org. (2010, August 10). Retrieved August 07, 2010, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_wine<br />History Wine Labels. (2010, August 12). Retrieved August 12, 2010, from www.ehow.com: http://www.ehow.com/about_5124816_history-wine-labels.html<br />http://ewineplanet.com/menu.asp?id=1. (2010, August 10). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from ewineplanet.com: http://ewineplanet.com/menu.asp?id=1<br />Lavista Church of Christ. (2010, August 10/08/2010). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVarticles/images/EgyptianVineyards.jpg.<br />Wine Label Art. (2010, August 13). Retrieved August 2010, 2010, from www.oenologist.com: http://www.oenologist.com/wine-label-art.htm<br />Winebottlelabels. (2010, August 10). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from www.winebottlelabels.org: http://winebottlelabels.org/<br />www.andrewjefford.com. (2010, August 18). Retrieved August 18, 2010, from www.andrewjefford.com: http://www.andrewjefford.com/node/717<br />www.decanter.com. (2000, July 08). Retrieved August 17, 2010, from www.decanter.com: http://www.decanter.com/news/news.php?id=47072<br />www.winebusiness.com. (2010, August 18). Retrieved August 18, 2010, from www.winebusiness.com: http://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=getArticle&dataId=17438<br />