Change is inevitable. But change for the sake of change is not necessarily a good thing. That's why we are very careful when we DO decide to change something as important as the look and branding of some of our most popular wines.
Using a design aesthetic first introduced on our flagship Estate Red Mountain Reserve, we have re-worked the labels for all of our Columbia Valley-designated wines. The first beneficiary of this new look is our 2015 Columbia Valley Riesling. 2016 Chenin Blanc, 2015 Chardonnay, and what is currently known as Cabernet-Merlot are next in line. (Spoiler!)
I know we have a lot of eagle-eyed readers and drinkers out there, and you may have already asked yourself the question, "Columbia Valley Riesling?" For the last thirty years, our beloved Riesling has been designated as a Washington State wine.
The Riesling has always been a Columbia Valley-eligible wine, based on our blending and vineyard sourcing. The issue, historically, was that not a lot of folks in the 80's and 90's knew what the Columbia Valley was. That is thankfully much less of an issue now in 2016, and we thought it was certainly time to give our wines a more accurate geographical designation.
The label features several nods to our family and the type of operation we run. The bottom of the front label proudly proclaims, "FARM AND FAMILY FOR THREE GENERATIONS", a moniker we have been using for a couple of years now in our marketing. To finally work it into the label feels really great.
The capsule also includes a differentiating aspect, the "OLD VINES" wrap-around text. While there is no official designation for what makes a certain vineyard "old vines" or not, there are several components in this particular wine that are over 30 years old. That qualifies, in my book.
The back label takes a somewhat whimsical turn, at least in narrative. This is a philosophical wine marketing issue to me personally, but we don't like to tell people what they are going to taste in a bottle of wine. It spoils the fun of the experience, and is, most of all, incredibly boring. So we wanted a back label that, in the simplest possible way, conveyed who we are and what we do. The back label reads, "We plant grapes. We grow grapes. We make wine. We drink wine. All as a family. All in the Columbia Valley. And for more than 40 years. The most impressive part? We all still like each other."
We are a Chicken Little operation; we are responsible for our finished product from start to finish. So won't you help us drink?