They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or a wine by its label. That said, we all know presentation is important and when looking at a bottle of wine the label is the first selling point. With that in mind, for WineMaker’s 20th annual label contest the label was the only thing we were concerned with (we’ll just trust you that the wine inside the bottle is excellent, because you consulted the best winemaking magazine for help making it!).
This year’s contest drew entries from across the globe. Designs commemorated weddings, anniversaries, births, and holidays. They told stories of friendships and successes in home vineyards (and some tribulations in vineyards as well). Some were simple, while others were more intricate. Some serious, while others were captioned with puns that garnered chuckles. Like snowflakes, no two were alike, however one commonality between each of the labels we received — of which there were hundreds — was they all dripped with enthusiasm for the wine inside of the bottles they were created to decorate. With so much diversity, the WineMaker staff had a heck of a time judging this year’s labels. However, as they say, it’s hard work but somebody’s got to do it, so with a glass of wine in one hand, we gathered on a snowy December afternoon and got to work.
In the following pages you’ll find the labels we liked best, as well as the Reader’s Choice label decided by reader voting on our Facebook page from a selection of our favorite labels that didn’t quite crack the top four spots. We hope you enjoy checking out others’ hard work and draw inspiration for your own future wine labels. Remember, there’s now less than a year until next year’s contest!
As always, we want to offer our appreciation for those who entered their labels as well as our sponsors who generously donated the prizes for this year’s competition.
Grand: Ronald Marvin • Bakersfield, California
Gold: John Reeve & Bruce Norton • Rancho Murieta, California
Silver: Matthieu Wheeler • Vernon, Connecticut
Bronze: Megan McLaughlin • Houston, Texas
Reader’s Choice: Tom Wiitala • Seattle, Washington