This season’s line-up is an intriguing array of artist-inspired wine labels. Indeed, this was a very good year overall for label artistry, as evidenced by the large number of beautiful wine labels I discovered. Read about my search and Coolest Labels from Spring 2016 Here. The trend of wineries looking to artists for label inspiration continues apace—something I am personally delighted about. This year the Antinori family designed a label that commemorates artist Giovanni della Robbia, a famed Renaissance artist who designed the family crest back in the 1500’s. Campo Viejo winery looked to more contemporary sources for their current label, utilizing the works of urban artists Okuda and Remed—who were inspired by the vibrancy of the wine and colors of the vineyard. Donum Estate winery in California is creating labels that are based on works by artist Ai Weiwei. And, in a different twist, the precise and sculptural expression on the wine “4” from Sokol Blosser was crafted by an architect.
Certainly it’s exciting to see popular artists featured on labels, but I am a fool for a good student-driven art contest, and the limited edition three-bottle gift set from Argyle is exactly just that—the result of a collaboration with Pacific Northwest College of Art. It features artwork from three students, who also received scholarships from Argyle for their label artistry: Ann-Marie Christin Engleberth, Lindsey Walker and Subin Yang.
As a final note, the labels selected and featured are chosen based on their eye-catching aspects—whether it be color, texture, shape or tone. Labels that tell a story, or invoke and emotion are even better. The wine world is a competitive one and shoppers are typically influenced in the first five seconds. Your wine has to be a stand-out to make the cut. Of course, truth is, some of the best wines I’ve ever tasted were from bottles with very lackluster labels. In the end, the taste is the only thing that matters. For now, enjoy the gallery below.