The making of fermented grape juice for fun and profit in the 21st Century is part of a tradition that goes back many thousands of years. Wine making is a tradition steeped in history. It’s adventurous, it’s romantic. When you think of wine you think of rows of grape vines hanging heavy with succulent fruit, waiting to be picked and, through arcane transformations known only to a few holders of esoteric knowledge, by some strange alchemy,are then turned into precious liquids. The experience of drinking these liquids is so subjective that they range from an almost all-encompassing obsession to utter indifference. We guess it all comes down to how you’re made.
In any case, not even the experts universally agree on what makes a great wine and there seems to be no clear relationship between the amount you pay for wine and how highly connoisseurs rate it. Blind tests have demonstrated time and time again that wine is full of surprises.
It doesn’t help that wine is a natural product, whose ultimate quality depends on climate that can change from season to season, soil-type, grape varieties and the barrels in which the wine ages. The experience of wine drinking can come down to the temperature and humidity in the room, the ambient odours, what you have just or what you are just about to eat, how long the wine has ‘breathed’ and the glass you’re drinking it from. Then there’s the wine bottle itself and the label and the psychological anticipation that the label can provoke. And then there’s the actual person drinking the wine. It’s safe to say that no two people experience the ‘same’ thing in the ‘same’ way and that’s certainly true of wine.
This leaves vintners with a challenge: “How do we distinguish our product from everyone else’s? How do we tell our story as well as we can? How do we add to the gestalt of experiencing our product? And how do we do all this in the space that a wine label occupies, and in the time that it takes to ‘read’ it?”
The Hunter Valley region of Australia is home to around 150 wineries, all vying for the tastebuds of Australia, and the rest of the world too. A look through the Hunter Valley Regional Wine Guide …
… and available as a free download, offers the discerning, aspiring vintner a masterclass in how Australian wineries have answered the above challenge.
A few examples should suffice to illustrate how a wine trademark, in particular, is a great example of a picture telling a thousand words. Feel free to add your subjective impression of what the logo is evoking to our interpretation.
So, in no particular order:
Charming, casual and yet with the sophistication that comes from using an old-gold.
Renaissance. Evoking the sense of a tradition passed down from the French for centuries. There’s that old gold again.
What says ‘tradition’ more than a family crest? An unapologetic statement of vintage, in more ways than one. Not the colour scheme and even the font. Sense a pattern emerging here?
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be playful while staying within an industry scheme.
And then, there’s nothing wrong with being an outlier …
Elegantly simple, without being stark. The name and the styling screams ‘Italian’ and in a good way.
If you’re an aspiring winemaker, seeking to make your mark (both literally and figuratively), there’s plenty of scope for your imagination. Just be sure what you want to say and how you want to say it. You might need professional advice, especially from an appropriately qualified and experienced intellectual property lawyer as a first step, so that your designers and writers don’t inadvertently create a ‘story’ that’s too similar to what’s already out there.