The third Thursday of November marks the release of the new, nouveau, novello wines. These are the first wines of the harvest, transformed in mere weeks from grapes on the vine to wine in the bottle. They are intended to be consumed within weeks of release. Most well-known are the Beaujolais Nouveau from France. The Italian version is Vino Novello.
I have designed the packaging for Cantina di Negrar’s Novello del Veneto for the past eleven years. Each design is based on a lion in recognition of the winery’s symbol, the Lion of Venice. It’s a challenging assignment. Each year I try to create something completely different and better than anything I’ve done before. That’s tough. Some of the previous designs are featured in a book Exploring Package Design. Posters of the first ten are valued by fervent collectors.
The packaging I’ve done for Novello del Veneto throughout the series has been intentionally a little over-the-top. It’s not what I would do for a standard product with a typical shelf life. This is a product that disappears in six weeks. In it’s first four days, up to 70% of the stock may be sold. The packaging needs to command attention and fly off the shelf. It usually does.
This year I moved the design in a totally new direction. Because the assignment is an annual expectation, I’m always thinking about what to do in the next year. Vino novello is a wine for celebrating. In December last year I thought it might be interesting to give the package a holiday season feel. Sometimes you work through design as a process. Sometimes you just have a vision. This was a vision. In my mind I saw the face of the lion in black and white framed by a wreath of silver swirls with frosty blue accents. For the first time, the background would be white. Production would play a vital role in creating impact for this label. In the final design, the swirls are white, blind embossed and edged in silver foil.
Initial reaction has been extremely favourable. Many are making the connection to the holiday theme.
Update: In its first four days on the market, over 70% of the Novello del Veneto stock was sold.