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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Label Me This: Going Custom on Your Next Bottle of Wine


The wine industry is always looking for new ways to market its wines. What better way to do that than with the ever popular front label, the very thing people see first? Imagine showing up to a party, a wedding, a business function, whatever, and having your own custom wine to show off? As National Public Radio reported in 2013: “We're all guilty of it. Even if we don't want to admit it, we've all been suckered into grabbing a bottle of wine off the grocery store shelf just because of what's on the label.” (see that story here: NPR) Two Central Coast wineries; Terravant in Santa Barbara, and Broken Earth in Paso Robles, are making inroads into a whole new category of wine labels.
At Broken Earth you can choose from Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet, or a Cabernet/Merlot blend on which to put your own custom label with your own text, font, photo or anything else you desire. Using a state of the art German printer you can have your picture taken and within an hour take home a bottle of wine with your mug on it. “The idea of our private label program, well, no one else is doing this,” winemaker Chris Cameron tells me. Originally designed to print touch pad screens for ATM machines, Broken Earth’s printer provides customization with massive potential from single novelty labels to custom wedding labels to golf tournaments to anything you can dream up.

Scratchpad from Terravant are newly released wines with a kind of interactive label.  Each bottle of wine comes with a charcoal pencil, which allows you to sketch directly on the label, then take a photo of their design and share it on social media outlets. The Scratchpad wines include a Central Coast Chardonnay ($13), a Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc ($11) and a Central Coast Pinot Noir ($15). “This is an interactive label that encourages consumers to post their doodlings and messages online to the Scratchpad Facebook page and on Instagram,” says Eric Guerra, Senior VP of Marketing & Sales. “The goal is to encourage consumers to express their creativity, designing their own label with unique drawings or artwork.”

An frankly, wine should be fun, and to create a custom label, either by drawing directly on the bottle or using a special photo you took, all that does is to make the enjoyment and sharing of wine that much more cool. Who knows, you might just create the next great work of art.

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