Check out winning labels from past annual competitions! The best homemade labels for homemade wine.
We spend so much time here at WineMaker thinking about how to make wine — from the fruit to the fermentation to the bottling and storage. But once a year we like to think about what’s on the outside of a bottle of wine instead of what’s on the inside.
Each year we get lots of imaginative designs — many of them with a great story to match the art. This year, out of the hundreds of entries we received, we managed to narrow down our choices to a tribute to a Contra Costa County (California) vineyard dog, a very literal interpretation of foot stomping grapes the old fashioned way, a Beelzebub-approved label celebrating a very deadly Zin, and a Pinot Noir with house cat appeal.
Thank you to everyone who entered this year, it is always a pleasure to see so many fresh ideas. And thank you to all of our generous prize sponsors!
Sure, a bottle of wine doesn’t necessarily NEED a fancy label to say what’s inside. Through the years we at WineMaker have seen all kinds of different ways to label a bottle of homemade wine — from duct tape to rubber bands to string. Of course it’s more fun to come up with a special label for your own wine, which is why we started our annual label contest! Each year home winemakers send in piles of their favorite homemade labels for us to judge, and each year we carefully pore over the entries to find our most favorite. This year we were impressed with a family crest, fell for a fun fruit wine design, scouted out a Pinot Noir with a park ranger feel, and indulged our long-time love for watercolor painting. Also, new this year, we let readers choose a favorite, too! Check out the first annual “Reader’s Choice” winner on page 58. Thank you to all of the home label artists out there who entered the competition this year, and also a big thank you to all of our sponsors for the many great prizes!
In a vineyard, each vintage year brings in a crop of the same grape varietal, but the results in the bottle are always a little different. For the annual WineMaker Label Contest, there's a bit of the same. Each year we put out the call for your best home wine labels, and each year we get a new and different crop of designs. This year we narrowed down the large field of entries to our top four, with some honorable mentions and some editor's choice picks. As always, we are suckers for a strong design with an interesting story and chose a bird hunting theme for the top prize. We also fell for some original artwork created for a Pinot Noir (Gold) and a lemoncello (Silver), and felt the vibe of a balanced-out sangria (Bronze). Thank you to everyone who entered this year's competition. Also, thank you to all of our generous sponsors for providing so many great prizes for the winning designs.
A winemaker's imagination isn't limited to what goes on in the winery. For every great homemade wine there is very often a great story to tell about how it was made or why the winemaker chose to make it — and what better way to tell a wine's story than on the label? Each year we collect hundreds of homemade wine labels for our annual label contest, and every year we have to narrow them down to a short list of favorites, which is no small task. This year, as in years past, we saw so many great designs using a wide variety of artwork, and some of them were as good as — or better than — some of the labels we've seen on commercial wines. After much deliberation, we chose a very "America-the-Beautiful" watercolor, a blue-jeans design that any working man or woman could appreciate, an embossed homage to a dog named Baron and a label with some California state pride. Narrowing it down to just a few winners is never easy, so we choose as many as we can. Check out http://winemakermag.com/story1319 for our Web-only Editors' Choice winners. Thank you to everyone for sending in your entries this year. Thank you, also, to all of this year's sponsors for providing all of the excellent winemaking prizes.
It’s hard to believe that we have judged the WineMaker Label Contest 13 times now. And though many years have passed since the first label appeared in the mailbox in 2000, we still get excited to see the new designs each fall. With so many years behind us we can look back now and see how trends and tastes have changed. In all, however, the artwork and concepts have all remained decidely original. It’s not often that we thank people for making our job difficult, but when it comes to judging the label contest we appreciate the challenge you artists provide for us each year, as well as all of the hard work and imagination that goes into your designs. This year we picked a gritty guns and Grigio theme as our grand prize winner, a design with a vintage vibe for gold, fruit bombs for silver and a blocky Barbera for bronze. Thank you to everyone who entered. Keep up the great work and hopefully we’ll see more of your imaginative entries next year. Also, thank you to all of our generous sponsors for providing so many great prizes.