It’s Blue Monday, but the only blue we are feeling today are some of our blue labelled wines, picked out by our designer, Maria.
Pantone announced their colour of 2020 as Classic Blue. With this in mind, I have picked out some of our wines with blue labels, and what better day to talk about them than Blue Monday.
Domaine des Carabiniers has been family run for four generations. Christian Leperchois built the current winery in the 60’s. Now, Magali and Fabien run the domaine which converted to organic viticulture in 1997 and then to biodynamic viticulture in 2009. They vinify with natural yeasts, without the use of chemical products and with very low sulphur additions. Three of their wines (Moon Apoge Syrah & Lunar Apoge Lirac & Lunar Apoge Tavel Rose) are inspired by the night sky with their deep navy labels referencing the biodynamic principles used to make them.
Also from France, we have a classic looking label from Champagne Pommery, and the Beaujolais Villages ‘Vignes de 1940’ from Jean-Michel Dupre.
From our friends at Bodegas Taron I have chosen the blue and gold labelled Pantocrator. I believe good design stems from good ideas and research, and this label does just that. Pantocrator is a greek word meaning ‘The Almighty’. The ‘Pantocrator’ is a classic Romanesque Art depiction that portraits Christ in Majesty with the left hand holding the holy writings and the right hand blessing the audience. In the Northern extreme of Rioja, there are lots of examples of Romanesque Art – churches, hermitages, castles, most of which were built in the XI to XIII Centuries. There is a Pantocrator depicted in a column in the Church of San Salvador in Tirgo, the village in which the winery is situated.
Not forgetting a few more from Spain we have our two El Zafiro wines and our Tierra de los Santos Garnacha, all from Extremadura. We also have our Extremarium Cava, from Mont Marcal and the Lecco Roble Tinto from Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel. My favourite from this bunch is the Lecco Roble. I love the simplicity of it, and the calming teal blue colour.
From Italy, we have the Frizzante Prosecco Bollicine. Frizzante means it is only lightly sparkling, whereas ‘spumante’ has more fizz to it. There’s also the Musita Regieterre Syrah from Sicily, Senso Trebbiano Rubicone from Emilia Romagna, Brunello di Montalcino from Donatella Colombini and Il Segreto di Giorgio from Susanna Crociani. I love the Musita Syrah label, utilising different shades of the colour blue, combined with the silver foil, I think it looks sophisticated and classy.
Also, from Italy is the Ca’ Luca Pinot Grigio. Named after the producer Luca Botter, the name Luca is derived from the Latin name Lucas, which itself is derived from the Latin word "lux" (light). The label is inspired by the sun and references the antique sundials. This was a project I worked on, and I was pretty pleased with the results considering this was my first venture into label design, but know there are a whole host of things I can learn and improve on.
Next up is the Ruminat Primitivo Lunaria. This wine is biodynamic, and its producers, Cantina Orsogna support the activities of the WWF LIFE Euroturtles project to protect turtles in the Mediterranean. The aim of the project is to improve the conservation status of the EU populations of two sea turtle priority species, the loggerhead turtle Caretta Caretta and the green turtle Chelonia Mydas. Another blue label from Cantina Orsogna is their Vola Volé Passerina; these wines are dedicated to the protection of bees. They are committed to safeguarding the vineyards’ ecosystem so that bees are safe and far from pesticides and herbicides. The finished wines are also heavily influenced by bees - the yeasts required to start fermentation are carefully selected from the pollen the bees collect from the natural wildlife surrounding the vineyards.
Balesti Valda’s owner and winemaker Guido Rizzotto has dedicated his life to creating high quality wines and tending to his land. He strives for excellence in the cellar and vineyards, saying no to chemicals and tending to the vines in accordance with organic principles. A deep-rooted belief in the importance of caring for the ecosystem led Guido to start beekeeping in order to protect biodiversity. Guido’s daughter Laura has joined the company, redesigning labels and bring a modern feel to the wines with her creative flair. The teal blue and gold combination for their Soave Classico is a winning combination.
From our friends further afield, we have a few more blue labels. Backsberg in South Africa uses an uplifting light blue for their Sauvignon Blanc, and a deep blue for their Cabernet Sauvignon. Whilst in Australia, Hamelin Bay’s ‘Rampant White’ depicts a striking blue dragon.
I live, eat and breath design and anything creative, and love when new wines come in so I can look at the different labels. We are lucky to have such a vast array of designs to suit all tastes - one of the reasons I love the subject, because it is so diverse. I am looking forward to working on some more label projects and learning more with the process.