2024 WineMaker Label Contest Winners

We received a little bit of everything from the hundreds of entries into this year’s WineMaker Label Contest. Some illustrated the backyard vines on which the contents of the bottle were grown, others paid homage to the winemakers’ heritage and traditions. Labels featured local landmarks, captured moments in time, and many labels were adorned with beloved family pets. We received labels for not just wine, but also cider and mead. Labels were designed by professional graphic designers, first-time hobbyists, and children invited to participate in the family hobby by contributing home drawn pieces of art for every bottle.

Each label is a story, and as such, each is unique and amazing in its own right. However, when it came time to judging, we needed to find the best of the best. And stop us if you’ve heard this before, but it was with unanimous consent that Eric Rosenfeld won Grand Champion. That’d be the same Eric Rosenfeld who received top honors in 2023. And 2022. (To be fair, judges didn’t recognize that until after judging was complete.) 

Though there were many labels judges pushed for to make the top four, in the end we happily settled on those featured in this spread (with all of the other top contenders receiving Honorable Mention). Let’s enjoy these labels and then get to work creating new designs for next year! And, of course, a big thanks is owed to sponsors who graciously donated prizes for the winning label designers! 

Grand Champion

Eric Rosenfeld • Scottsdale, Arizona

“There are few things as free and unencumbered as a wet dog trying to dry itself by shaking. Their energy and the intensity with which they clear themselves is immense and gratifying to watch. Zinfandel evokes a similar feeling from me. There is energy in the wine and its many tasting notes and aromas. Like the water off the dog’s back, these notes are scattered everywhere and the amount of energy is palpable. This wine, like watching my dog after he swims in the pool, is one of my life’s simple pleasures.”

Prizes: RJS Craft Winemaking En Primeur Winery Series Italian Super Tuscan wine kit from BSG HandCraft; Gift card from GrogTag; Vintner’s Best® Wine Base from Vintner’s Best®; Gift certificate from Waterloo Container


Carl Rossi • Poway, California

This label came from a chance encounter, as Carl explained that his 39-vine home vineyard caught the eye of a friend. “He said his wife wanted to learn more about growing grapes. Over coffee and a Danish one Sunday morning my friend’s wife Sudi (short for Soudabeh Memarzadeh) asked me if I had a label . . . Turns out she was a designer,” Carl explained. “I gave her a couple sketchy parameters and said to create something on her own. She was very professional and gave me a list of questions to answer. After a couple of drafts we settled on the attached. She used cutting edge (pun intended) CNC to cut out the flames so that the bottle now provides the dark gloss black.”

Prizes: RJS Craft Winemaking En Primeur Winery Series Chilean Chardonnay wine kit from BSG HandCraft; Gift card from GrogTag


Todd Santoro • Key West, Florida

The Italian color scheme, logo, and overall clean look of this label caught the judges’ eyes. Todd is a graphic designer who creates all original artwork for his wine labels on Adobe Illustrator. The design of this label includes the vital statistics for this 275-bottle batch of Zinfandel, all the way down to which carboy it came from, bottle number, and bottle date, which are written in by the vintner, Ray Santoro, after bottling. 

Prizes: RJS Craft Winemaking Cru Select French Merlot wine kit from BSG HandCraft; Gift card from GrogTag


Joe Theys • Newland, North Carolina

The creation of this label used inspiration that was close to home. “We chose the quirky theme of a hare climbing a chain because on our property, aside from the fruit trees and vineyard, we have slowly collected sculptures and placed them along a trail. We have an AirBNB with guests that stay on the property and enjoy seeing this quirky art. It seemed only natural to include that on the bottle label.”

Prizes: RJS Craft Winemaking Cru Select Italian Pinot Grigio wine kit from BSG HandCraft; Gift card from GrogTag

Honorable Mention

Prize: All receive a gift card from GrogTag

Joseph Daniel • Sonoma, California

Chad Martin • Greenwood, Arkansas

Steve Meier • Jeffersonton, Virginia

Penny Walker • San Diego, California

John Blichmann • Lafayette, Indiana

Kenneth Tucker • Bowie, Maryland

Tony Devine • Vacaville, California

Elaine Hester • Vista, California

Kurt Nyquist • Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Eloise Pound • Clayton, California

Paul Gulsrud • Bell Canyon, California

Jim Blake • Tustin, California

Harry Miranda • Toronto, Ontario

Darren Porter • Beaver Dam, Kentucky

Espen Ajo Arnevik • Hosle, Norway

Cardinham Killigrew • Downington, Pennsylvania