image This package won best design and packaging prize at the 2008 Drink Business awards, for its clutch-style handbag box. Now perhaps I am just not the right kind of woman, but I found the strapline “White Grenache – loved by women almost as much as they love their handbags”, a tad condescending. "Appealing directly to the rosé wine consumer" – does the love of rosé equal a love of handbags? Apparently so; according to Tesco, where it is being sold, the package has been “incredibly successful”.

By Natasha Chetiyawardana.

Logan Wines

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image More wine, and more design from War Design for family-run Logan vineyard. The label speaks to the old-fashioned winemaking process, human involvement and enjoyment at the same time, all with one graphic device. I imagine the winemaker, pants rolled around knees, tramping away from the crushed grapes, leaving his oenophilic footprints on the way. Not only would this jump out on-shelf, but it’s not a frivolous tactic to do so. I’m really enjoying the tactility and the relevant message on this one.

Check out our previous article on Logan Wines.

By Natasha Chetiyawardana.


image You can now monitor progress on Frank Gehry’s amazing Hall Winery project in the Napa Valley via a live video feed. Last year my colleague Deidre Woollard told you about the ambitious plan for the new facility built around the original 1885 winery south of St. Helena. Progress is proceeding apace on the project, which artfully blends avant-garde architecture with existing historic structures. The live cam is the latest addition to the Gehry plan web features, which include a project gallery and time-lapse camera showing progress to date. Hall’s new 110,000-square-foot complex of six buildings, which broke ground last summer, is slated to open in 2010. Pictured above is Gehry (center) and associate Edwin Chan (left) with winery owners Kathryn and Craig Hall (right) discussing the architect’s model for a new Visitor’s Center, an all-glass structure supported by a "floating" trellis overhang.

By Jared Paul Stern.

Urban Winery & Wine Bar

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When Springwise first covered San Francisco-based Crushpad back in 2005, the idea of a winery in an urban centre was surprising. Crushpad has since blossomed, and now a like-minded contender on the opposite end of the nation is picking up on the notion and combining it with a wine bar.

Due to open this fall, City Winery will combine a wine bar and event space with a fully operational winery in the heart of Soho, New York City. The private-label winery—apparently the city’s first—will let consumers choose their favourite grape, consult with City Winery’s master winemaker and then crush, ferment, bottle and label their own bottles of wine. The company will have the capacity to make about 300 barrels of wine in its first year, and 200 of those will be dedicated to a limited set of members, who will have access to City Winery’s state-of-the-art equipment and professional team. Grape varietals will be sourced from vineyards in California, Oregon, Washington State, New York, Chile and Argentina under strict temperature control, and customers will be able to work with City Winery’s specialists in person or online to customize their barrel, participating as much or as little as they like in the process. Membership is available on three levels, beginning at USD 5,000 annually plus the cost of grapes, barrels and labelling for about 250 bottles of wine. Wine classes are also included, as is the opportunity to trade bottles with other members; wine sales, however, are prohibited. About a third of City Winery’s barrels have already been sold, according to its site.

City Winery’s venue side, meanwhile, features a flexible space that can accommodate up to 200 people seated or 400 standing, with an in-house stage and sound system. A full catering kitchen is onsite to serve the venue’s multiple dining and tasting rooms, while the wine bar will have more than 50 wines available by the glass each night. Through City Winery’s VinoFile membership program, customers can track their wine consumption and get related suggestions from the on-site sommeliers and winemakers. A special cheese bar from Greenwich Village-based Murray’s Cheese, meanwhile, will be manned by a full-time expert to create the appropriate wine pairings from a selection of over 30 cheeses. City Winery also plans to create unique pairings of private concerts with such delicacies as wine and chocolates, mushrooms or truffles, port or scotch.

Frequent Springwise readers will undoubtedly notice the way City Winery’s efforts tap into the customer-made and still made here trends, while offering consumers some much-sought-after status skills to boot. Will City Winery follow in Crushpad’s footsteps and relax its rule prohibiting wine commerce among its customers? We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, one to watch!

Contact: [email protected]

French Foreign Legion Wine

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Fine wine isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the many skills mastered by the famous military force but that isn’t holding the group back from taking this innovative approach to raising money for its aging veterans.
The wines are sourced from grapes grown in southern France and tended by retired legionnaires, so they not only provide profits for supporting the Legion and its veterans but also work to keep the men feeling busy and productive well into their retirement years.

By Rigel Gregg.

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