Of course we shouldn’t just drink from the labels, but the tributes and inspirations they express are very welcome.
the labels of wines, in general, usually follow an unwritten convention that adapts to the legislation of each producing country and to some regulations of demarcated regions or similar. Basically, every label contains the origin (country and region), the producer or bottler, the color (white, red, rose), the type (table, fine wine, reserve), the alcoholic strength and, when of the same vintage , the harvest. From then onwards, there are specificities, such as the regional classification (as we have in Bordeaux, for example), if it is a wine from a merchant (as we find in Burgundy) or even if it is from a certain vineyard or sub-region (as found in this in wines from Piedmont and our Serra Gaucha).
I’m not wrong to say that labels have always tended towards austerity. However, from the most rigid region with the labels, innovation emerged: Ricardo Bohn Gonçalves reports that, “in 1924, Baron Philippe Rothschild, who, in addition to being a descendant of an illustrious and ancient lineage of bankers, was also a poet, writer, playwright and passionate about motor racing, had the idea to invite a well-known graphic designer of the time to ‘reform’ the very straight image that illustrated the Château Mouton Rothschild label. He was in his 20s at the time, and this ‘graphic revolution’ would be just one of many that would become his trademark in the wine world. Jean Carlu, a Frenchman, also very young, whose fame came from the posters he developed for advertising campaigns, accepted the task and created the Cubist label that illustrated the bottle from that year’s vintage. The tradition of always inviting an artist to create the Mouton Rothschild ‘art label’ of the year would only begin to take effect in 1945, after the Second World War, but the beginning was there, in 1924. A cubist label on a more than traditional wine!”
In our days, producers, especially those from the French vanguard and those from the New World, started, as a rule, to place their wines on the market with labels in harmony with the spirit they intend to imprint on the wines.. The Argentines with their “Quatro Vacas Gordas” express an amusing spirit to the act of drinking, as well as that found in Mendozino’s “Mecanic”, which, although innovative, makes ironic remarks with an austere caricature, alluding to the 20s of the last century. The label of the Californian “Opus One” expresses the meeting of Mondavi and Rothschild styles, which translates into the fusion of their profiles in the mythical red label. Here in the Brazil, Marco Danielle (Atelier Tormentas), who in addition to being a winemaker is a first-rate photographic artist, brings his work to the labels of his wines, one hour paying homage to a landscape and another to someone who inspired him. In this same tuning fork, we find “Vivente”, which, a producer of natural and biodynamic wines, chose very sensory labels that allude to simple everyday situations, translated into pleasure. Of course we shouldn’t drink the wine by the labels, however the tributes and inspirations they express are very welcome. Salut!