Unique Wines Earn Packaging Design Awards

California Wines Win Packaging Design Awards for Innovation

By Laurie Greene, Editor 

 

Some interesting smaller California wineries won special awards during the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference last month in Yountville, California, but not for the quality of their wine. It was all about what contained the wine—the packaging.

 

Jim Gordon, editor of Wines & Vines magazine that sponsored the awards, said, “One of the most interesting developments these days is the proliferation of different wine packaging types and designs. We decided to get a handle on that by starting the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards a couple of years ago.”

 

Out of 135 vintner and supplier entries from North American wineries, five wine packaging designs convinced a panel of five experts that they have what it takes to sway consumers to stop in the wine aisle to give the product a closer look. Packages were judged on their creativity, visual appeal, design functionality, appropriateness for the price segment and the package’s ability to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

 

Each package entered contained wine, was filled between Aug. 1, 2014, and July 31, 2016, and is currently available or was available to the general public between those dates. Submissions included wine boxes, wine bottles, wine bags or cans.

Wines & Vines 2016 Packaging Design Awards Winners (Source: Wines & Vines)
Wines & Vines 2016 Packaging Design Awards Winners (Source: Wines & Vines)

The winners of the 2016 Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards are:

Supplier Contest

Most Outstanding Package–Supplier 

Stranger & Stranger’s design of Run Riot Pinot Noir

Run Riot, a Treasury Wine Estates brand created by Stranger & Stranger, an international design firm, is a “critter” brand with a purpose and a story about a wild boar that rampages through the vineyard. The wine label includes a fascinating die-cut and graphic.

Most Innovative Package–Supplier 

Quest Industries’ “masked spray” on a bottle of Reed Wine Cellars’ 2011 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon

The bottle exterior is spray-coated in a unique process on the upper half in dark red.

 

Winery Contest

People’s Choice Most Innovative Package

One87 Wine & Cocktails’ single-serving plastic wine “glass” and “stem”

Designed by OGW/France, this single-serve container is a PET plastic, BPA-free vessel, 100% recyclable with a smooth glass-like rim and a guaranteed shelf life of 12 or more months.

 

Most Innovative Package–Winery

Rubin Wines’ Q&A brand packaging

A traditional bottle as well as a box wine was recognized for its large graphics. Each bottle of this new brand, known as “Q & A,” included sets of questions and answers that differed from bottle to bottle.

 

People’s Choice Most Outstanding Package

Wooden Bottle Wine Co.’s 2009 Pinot Noir

This wine was actually in a lathe wooden bottle designed and patented by owner Marcos Oliver crafted entirely of wood from the Thai rubber trees, lined with an FDA-approved, non-toxic product that protects the wine from wood and oxygen infusion.


Featured Photo: Wooden Bottle Wine Co.’s 2009 Pinot Noir, courtesy of Wines & Vines magazine.


Resources:

2016 Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards

5 wine packaging designs win awards in Napa

Wine Packaging Design Awards Expand

Wooden and Plastic Wine Packages Win

Like Mother, Like Son: Passion for Grape Growing

Mother-Son Team Share Passion for Grape Growing

 

By Lauren Dutra, Associate Editor

 

Diane Laub and Jared Allred, Fresno County mother and son grape growers, shared their passion for grape growing and some insight on their raisin and winegrape operations. “We have mostly Thompson Seedless,” Allred began, “which has been made into raisins for the last couple of years. Sometimes we send them to the winery if the price is right. We also have about 75 acres of overhead trellis dried-on-the-vine (DOV) Fiesta grapes that we use for raisins every year.”

 

With the harvest season behind them, Allred summarized, “in the first week of August, we went through and cut all the canes on the DOV grapes. The raisins started drying on the vine for a few weeks, and then we sent a mechanical harvester through.”

 

The mother and son team also farm 85 acres of French Colombard. “We used to have 40 acres of Syrah,” Allred added, “but we took [the variety] out this last year because the price hasn’t been good and the vineyard was not in very good shape.”

 

SJV grapevines Aug/Sept

“In years past, we used to send all of our Thompson’s Seedless to the wineries,” Allred explained, “but the price hasn’t been good the past three years, so we’ve been making it into raisins. This year, the only thing we have going to the winery is our French Colombard.”

 

Allred also commented, “The crop this year looks pretty good, actually as good—if not better than—last year. ‘Not a lot of powdery mildew except on the Fiestas, which are always prone to a little bit of mildew.”

 

Diane Laub, Allred’s mother, explained her role on the family’s farm. “I mainly oversee everything on the farm and also do all the office work. That is what I was brought up doing. I still do all my own work: irrigate, parts runner—you name it.”

 

Laub is the daughter of the late Don Laub, a well-known and respected leader in agriculture and in the Easton community where he farmed. For 50 years, Don Laub was active with the Fresno County Farm Bureau and served as president from 1986-1988. In 1996, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Sacramento-based California Farm Bureau Federation. He also served on boards of many other agriculture organizations, including Ag One Foundation at Fresno State and California Association of Winegrape Growers.

 

Following in her father’s footsteps, Diane Laub explained her passion for the business, “It’s just something that I love to do. I don’t know what I’d do without it. You know, it’s my job; it’s my life,” she said.

Mohr-Fry Ranches Honored

Mohr-Fry Ranches is CAWG Grower of the Year

By Laurie Greene, Editor

The California Association of Wine Grape Growers (CAWG) has selected its 2016 Grower of the Year, Jerry and Bruce Fry of Mohr-Fry Ranches, who will be presented with the award at the CAWG Awards of Excellence Program in Monterey on July 20, 2016. The Grower of the Year Award is the highest honor given by the association to an individual, family, or company that represents an outstanding example of excellence in viticulture and management.

John Aguirre, president of the organization, offered some background on this year’s award winners. “Jerry and Bruce are icons of the Lodi wine grape growing community. They do not own a winery, but they are long-time vineyard agriculturalists and have a long history of community leadership, and involvement in agricultural organizations,” Aguirre said.

Mohr-Fry Ranches Logo, CAWG

 

Mohr-Fry Ranches was one of the original six Lodi growers to certify their vineyard under the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Wine Growing. Jerry Fry is the president and CEO, and Bruce Fry is the vice president of operations of the family-run Mohr-Fry Ranches. The father and son are two of the most respected growers in the Lodi wine grape community and also dedicate an enormous amount of time serving the industry in their community.

“Jerry was a past chairman of CAWG, and Jerry and Bruce have both been deeply involved not only with CAWG, but with the California Farm Bureau Federation, the Lodi District Grape Growers Association, and the Lodi Wine Grape Commission,” said Aguirre. “They really embraced the idea that working as a community is essential to the strength of agriculture.”

“Jerry was really visionary in terms of developing Lodi into the powerhouse that it is today. Arguably, Lodi occupies one of the most critical positions in the winegrape industry in its ability as a region to produce high-quality grapes that are sought by Napa winemakers to blend into Napa wines,” noted Aguirre.