Designer Chuck House, Icon Group, Santa Barbara, USA
A successful wine package is a sculpture of the moment, an authentic expression of time and place. At its best, it transcends the past and the present with a vision of the future that is uniquely its own.”
— Chuck House
The wine label is the outermost veil of the strange, convoluted mystery of a wine. It is a precious object of art that symbolises and disseminates the cultural and spiritual values of the land where the wine is grown. Wine label design has undergone a renaissance where art meets marketing in the most powerful way, penetrating the subconscious, and using the power of suggestion to imply flavour and quality. Jeffrey Caldewey and Chuck House are acknowledged masters of the new designs and they have created designs for some of the world’s most sought after wines.
We wanted a simple, elegant and sophisticated label modeled on the classic Burgundian paradigm.
It had occured to us at the time that the proliferation of artsy “critter” labels suggested a general preoccupation with marketing, promotion, and publicity rather than with the quality of the wine.
We felt a well-crafted label should convey to the potential purchaser a sense of what he or she might expect on opening the bottle.
Without over-intellectualising an experience that is essentially sensory, here are some of Chuck’s thoughts:
- The initials are from the classic period when the original European varietals were being developed, a link to the history of Pinot Noir, but not an attempt to make this an Old World pinot noir, but still an homage.
- The interlocking F and E can be seen to symbolize the organic synergy of wine and the land from which it comes.
- The curves of the F and E have a look of a classic billowing sail, evoking the wind and sea that symbolize New Zealand in the popular imagination. Clean and fresh.
- And most importantly, he intended to imbue a sensual quality in the way the two letters insinuate themselves together. That’s the quality that Pinot Noir always seems to have as it’s calling card.
The best stories are always about love and connection so that’s the story that is embedded in this imagery!