Behind The Label

September 18, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

We eat with our eyes first – everybody knows that. We drink in exactly same way. While looking for the wine to buy, we always start from the label. Of course, sometimes we might be looking just for the specific producer’s name – but way more often than not, wine consumer is lured by the appearance of the bottle before anything else. We let the bottle speak to us.

Wine producers always knew the effect of the bottle appearance, and always tried to design attractive and appealing labels – think about Château Mouton Rothschild, for example, which started their “Artist” wine label series back in 1945. 20-25 years ago, the design, and most importantly, production capabilities were limited both in style and the cost. But not today- there are literally no limits to how creative the wine bottle design can get in today’s world. It is hard to tell what exactly makes the wine label instantly attractive, but we all can recognize that special label when we see it. I shared my fascination with the creativity of the wine labels on the multiple occasions in this blog – here is one example for you.

You don’t have to agree with me, but I see creative wine labels as objects of art. Art at large is a form of the human expression. Art takes lots and lots of different forms – beautiful building, successful surgery, a sublime glass of wine, a flower, a painting. I’m sure there are countless studies written on the subject, and I will not even try for the slightest bit to delve into it, but I’m convinced that art as a final expression always has its source, the origin, it is inspired – and this leads to the fundamental question – what inspires the art? I will leave you to ponder at that, and meanwhile, let me turn our conversation towards the … wine, of course.

Vilarnau Barcelona Cava When I saw the label of Vilarnau Brut Reserva Rosé, my first reaction was “wow, this is a beautiful bottle”. The next question was – what does it mean? Yes, I read the description connecting Vilarnau Trencadís Edition cavas to the work of famous architect Antoni Gaudí, but I still wanted to understand the true inspiration behind this label. I reached out to the winery, and asked a few questions – here is our short conversation:

[TaV]: Vilarnau produces Cava since 1949. When Trencadís labels were used on Vilarnau Cava for the first time?
[V]: We launched the Trencadis labels at the end of 2014.

[TaV]: What was the inspiration behind the Trencadís labels?
[V]: This form of mosaic is very famous in Catalunya, Spain. Inspired by the Park Guëll in Barcelona and the famous artist Gaudí. Vilarnau is the “Barcelona Cava” and we felt it was fitting to use such an iconic design to decorate the bottles.
Trencadís’ is a type of mosaic used in Catalan modernism, created from broken tile shards. The technique is also called ‘pique assiette’. The mosaic is done using broken pieces of ceramic, like tiles and dinnerware. The Catalan architects Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Pujol used trencadís in many projects, among which Barcelona’s Parc Güell is probably the most famous. Vilarnau being so close to Barcelona (not only geographically, but also with heart and soul), it was natural to pick up this typical artistic theme for our winery.

[TaV]: Are the Trencadís Cava target the specific market, or do they sell equally well world-wide?
[V:]: We are currently exporting this label to almost 30 markets (principle markets being the USA, UK, Germany, and Belgium) and the number is growing as consumers love the design and the wine.

[TaV]: Do you have plans to add any new wines to the Trencadís series?
[V]: When we first launched we only had the Brut Reserva NV in the trencadis design but we have added the Rosado Reserva to the range two years and the Brut Nature Vintage and Demi-Sec last year

[TaV]; Do you have plans for any other “creative label” designs under Vilarnau name?
[V]: Barcelona is a constant inspiration to us and we are full of ideas, however, we have so much to do with the Trencadis design that we probably won’t launch anything new for the next 2 years or so.

Vilarnau Barcelona Cava glasses

The beautiful label is very important, it sets the expectations and makes you anticipate more from the wine. But – the content of the bottle is better to support the beauty of the label, or the joy of wine drinking will quickly dissipate.

I’m happy to say that the NV Vilarnau Brut Reserva Trencadís Edition Rosé D.O. Cava (12% ABV, SRP: $15, 90% Trepat and 10% Pinot Noir, 15+ month in the bottle) didn’t disappoint. Beautiful intense pink color, classic Sparkling nose, with a touch of yeast and toasted bread on the nose, supported by fresh tart strawberries and lemon notes on the palate, crisp, succulent and invigorating. A perfect sparkling wine by itself, and at a price – almost an unbeatable value. (Drinkability: 8-/8).

What do you think of Art of the [wine] Labels? Do you have some favorites? Cheers!

  1. September 18, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Fantastic post! Amazing bottle! I don’t think I ever would have gotten that deep into the symbolic meaning on the label. Love the cork – wow! What detail!

    • September 18, 2017 at 9:38 am

      More often than not, the labels are designed with the meaning. I can’t say if yellow tail or similar has a deep meaning behind the little critters which embellish their bottles, but from my experience, the wine labels shouldn’t be taken lightly and have an interesting story behind them.

  2. September 18, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Reblogged this on BubblyBEE.net and commented:
    From one of my favorite wine bloggers…a Cava that is beautiful inside and out!

    • September 18, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Thanks, Becky, appreciate the share! Glad you like the post!

  3. September 18, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Great post! I recently purchased a bottle of Arthur Metz Brut Cremant d’Alsace Prestige, which also has a colorful, mosaic label. The unusual label was definitely a factor in my decision. Thank you for delving into the story behind these artistic labels!

    • September 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you! wine labels are an important part of wine appreciation – and I love learning the stories behind them.

  4. September 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for digging into the background on this Cava. Knowing that the label design was inspired by the works of Gaudi and others seems obvious now that you’ve explained it! The Park Guell was one of the most fantastic (in the true sense of that word) places I’ve ever seen; now I want to try the wine. Look at that color!

    • September 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      My pleasure. The wine was excellent, and definitely worth looking for. And I hope to make it to Spain one day…

      • September 18, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        Oh, Spain! She will steal your heart.

        • September 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm

          looking forward to it 🙂

  5. September 18, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    fantastic post and definitely artistic! Love it!!

  6. October 2, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Beautiful label indeed!

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