Behind the Label: a Creative Process

Aug 30, 2019 | Uncategorized

Behind the Label: a Creative Process

A Journey for your Senses and your Heart

The label in a wine bottle is indispensable to its identity. It serves not only to indicate its name, but also its physical and historical context, the brand’s essence and its producers.  

In order to have a label that truly represents those aspects of a wine, the creative process has to be specific for each label – since our eyes are just as much a part of this sensorial journey as our taste and sense of smell.  

The label’s purpose isn’t merely to provide information about the wine’s origins, age or caste: it also tells a story about the wine through its graphic presentation.  

We’re going to explore our design inspirations for three of our projects. We find great value in sharing the historical and sentimental richness that guides and stimulates our creative journey.


The Travelling Spirit of Quinta da Vacaria

Quinta da Vacaria is one of the oldest estates in the region (its first register dates back to 1616). 

For 400 years, the superb Port wine produced here has travelled the world. It was, however, kept anonymous while it was sold in bulk to buyers from all over the world at Douro’s river mouth, who then bottled and labeled the port wine with their own names and labels without a single mention of its origins. Many of these brands became well renowned for reselling this excellent product even though they had nothing to do with its production. 

Thanks to a law that regulates Port wine production, farmers are obliged to keep one third of their production. Now Quinta da Vacaria is proud to have one of the largest and most valuable stocks of very old tawny ports, which were only finally bottled at their origin and labelled with their own brand in 2016. 

We wanted the label for Quinta da Vacaria to honor that legacy of nearly half a millennium of sea travel, false identities and mysterious origins. 

We drew inspiration from old maps, old navigation tools used by the sailors and compass roses to create a powerful and evocative V, surrounded by intricate graphic elements in gold, offering a rich contrast with the artisanal paper’s deep blue.   

The four bottles collection – aged 10, 20, 30 and 40 years – is within a box inspired by a vintage suitcase, clearly alluding to this brand’s past and its travelling spirit. 


A Woman’s Place in Wine History at Valle de Passos

Valle de Passos was born in Trás-os-Montes, a project that praises the centuries of wine history of this region, that has existed for longer than Portugal has been a country. 

Visiting Valle de Passos is returning to the past. It’s finding the real historical treasures that the Romans left here. It’s still possible to find the world’s largest collection of ancient Roman wine mills too. This is where they produced Passum, a lighter wine that seduced Rome and the only wine women were allowed to drink too.  

The name Valpaços came from Passum, and that’s the town where you can find Valle de Passos and also what inspired the brand’s concept and image. 

Our creativity was nudged by diving into the breathtaking Roman history and culture of this place. That dive lead us to the idea for the final image and identity of the Valle de Passos wine, combining elements from the past and the present.  

The elegantly classical labeling contrasts with the colorful capsules, elevating the entire packaging with this pop of color. The embossed images of Roman women, dancing and holding hands has both historical gravitas and joyfulness, and said joy is brought up by the precious connection between the mother and daughter that make the team in charge of this admirable project.

The Eternal Love Letter Casal from Sta. Maria

Located on the historical region of Colares, on the hillside of Serra de Sintra, the Casal de Sta. Maria vineyards sprawl over a formidable scenery by the sea, on the westernmost point of continental Europe.  

These vineyards were planted in 2006 by the Baron Bodo von Bruemmer, who was 96 years old at the time. The Baron wanted to fulfill his dream of producing premium quality wines, wines that fully expressed both the unique terroir of this estate and his passion for it, respecting its environment and dignifying the region.  

“It´s never too late” was his life motto and it’s reflected on the wine produced by the Baron. We wanted that motto to live in every back label on these unique wines. When we redesigned its image, we wanted to fully respect its identity and its noble character. 

The Baron prides himself in having two DOC Colares wines in its portfolio: a Malvasia and a Ramisco planted in sand. Our design inspiration was ignited by the the image of the great classics from this centenary region, to pay tribute to the history and tradition of these rare wines.  

To expand this meritorious portfolio, we also created a delightful new rosé. We named it Mar de Rosas, so we could share the beautiful love letter in the shape of a garden: Von Bruemmer planted five thousand roses when his wife passed away. This wonderful memorial continues to embellish the garden of this estate that stretches out over the sea. 

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