Unique Wines Earn Packaging Design Awards

Some interesting smaller California wineries won special awards during the third annualWines & Vines Packaging Conference last month in Yountville, California, but not for the quality of their wine. It was all about what contained the wine—the packaging.

 Jim Gordon, editor ofWines & Vinesmagazine that sponsored the awards, said, “One of the most interesting developments these days is the proliferation of different wine packaging types and designs. We decided to get a handle on that by starting the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards a couple of years ago.”

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CaliforniaAgToday Radio 

CaliforniaAgToday Radio interviews Wines & Vines editor Jim Gordon
about the Wine Packaging Design Awards

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Winemakers ponder wine packaging

More than 450 winemakers and marketers flocked to the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville on Aug. 17 to learn how they can differentiate their products from the thousands of other wines on the market.

 They heard experts talk about trends in wine bottles and other packages, as well as labels, capsules and enclosures, and they also got to see diverse examples among the many suppliers who attended.

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Quest Wins 2016 Most Innovative Wine Packaging Award 
Panel of creative and design experts bestow award for best new innovation in design to the technology leader in wine and spirits bottle decorating. 


Napa, Calif.Quest, the leading bi-coastal bottle packaging company, was awarded the 2016 most innovative wine packaging award among a broad spectrum of diverse entries at this year's WINES & VINES Packaging Conference held here. The winning design was for "Mask Spray", a new technique created by Quest for Reed Vineyards,Lodi, California.

Judging criteria was based on technical innovation, functionality and marketability. Quest's entry was chosen because, "This is a breakthrough that allows the entire bottle to become a decorative canvas. This process enables more innovative design choices for wine makers, brand owners and designers to consider. There is virtually an endless combination of designs and colors to transform an ordinary bottle into a fully custom-made work of art."

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Wine Packaging That Retailers Say Does And Does Not Work

The three panelists: Gary Fisch, owner of Gary’s Wine and Marketplace in New Jersey, Debbie Zachareas, the co-owner and partner of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant in San Francisco and Oxbow Mann stressed that producers ought to seek feedback regarding wine packaging from the frontline: retailers.

I’m not a retailer, but one packaging “innovation” that drives me nuts is the heat-shrink capsule on wine bottles: it is wasteful, the little tab ostensibly designed to allow us to zip off its top hardly ever works properly and some of the capsules refuse to loosen their grip on the glass. Alas, that subject did not come up, and so I digressed.

Gary Fisch focused on Millennials, the group whose 75.4 million members surpasses a declining Baby Boomer population–the two groups account for the majority of wine sold in the U.S. Fisch said that instead of celebrity names and weird brand names, millennial wine buyers seek “authenticity”. In other words, they don’t want gimmicks; they want wine from passionate winemakers. Fisch also said that where the vineyards are located matters to millennials, yet many marketers continue to offer products developed in city office buildings (an informed consumer knows that phrases on a wine label like “vinted and bottled by” and “cellared and bottled by” may indicate a lack of authenticity).

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What Retailers Like in Wine Packaging  
Wine in cans gaining popularity, but going too trendy can backfire  



Yountville, Calif.
One of the most popular sessions at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 17 featured three wine retailers discussing what wine packaging worked for them – and what didn’t.

The speakers were Gary Fisch, owner of Gary’s Wine and Marketplace with four stores in New Jersey for an eastern perspective and Debbie Zachareas, the co-owner and partner of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant in San Francisco and Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchant in Napa, Calif. Moderating the panel discussion was Curtis Mann, the wine, beer and spirits buyer for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, which includes 118 supermarkets.

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Wooden and Plastic Wine Packages Win  
Expanded award program rewards innovations and new brands  




Yountville, Calif.
Little-known California wineries are taking the lead with innovative packages that make them stand out. A judging panel (including this writer) for the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards evaluated and rated more than 121 entries from wineries and suppliers. The panel chose its favorites in three categories, and the 50 top submissions were displayed at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 17.

It was the second year of the packaging awards, and the number of entries quadrupled from the previous year. Attendees were encouraged to look them over and vote on their favorites. More than 200 did so, resulting in People’s Choice awards for Most Outstanding Package and Most Innovative Package.

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5 wine packaging designs win awards in Napa 




North Day Business Journal
Out of 135 vintner and supplier entries, five wine packaging designs convinced a panel of experts they have the eye candy and intrigue to convince consumers to give the brands a closer look.

A panel of five wine packaging design experts judged entries in the second Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards, and attendees of Wines & Vines' W&V Pack conference in Napa on Aug. 17 were invited to submit their picks.

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How Michael David Winery Turbocharged Its Brands  
7 Deadly Zins producer reveals secrets at Wines & Vines Packaging Conference  




Yountville, Calif.
Improving packaging can have a big impact on a winery’s success, as described by Melissa Phillips Stroud, the vice president of sales and marketing at Michael David Winery, and director of marketing Mike Stroh at the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference held Aug. 17 at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville.

Named after brothers Michael and David Phillips, Michael David Winery created a huge hit with 7 Deadly Zins, a Zinfandel originally made from seven vineyards in Lodi. The wine helped put Michael David Winery and its home Lodi on the national wine map.

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In the competitive wine world, labels can make all the difference  




Press Democrat
Wine companies have a lot of demands. They must grow and secure grapes. They have to oversee a laborious winemaking process through bottling. Then they have to compete on the supermarket shelf with thousands of competitors.

But a key factor in a wine’s success is packaging, which can make or break a brand as evidenced by speakers Wednesday at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference held at the Lincoln Theatre.

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Strong Packaging Creates Strong Wine Sales  
Third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference brings together experts in production, design and marketing  




Yountville, Calif.
It doesn’t seem to matter how one gets there, but when you find the right packaging for your wine brand, you’re going to see better sales.

Finding the right design can come from quirky and offbeat ideas generated in-house and produced with local talent, or they can be the result of a detailed and exhaustive processes with leading design firms. Either way, if you can home in on an effective brand and packaging strategy, your wine brand will have a definitive advantage on retail shelves.

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Wine Packaging Designer Encourages Innovation  
Founder of international design firm says 'nothing is insurmountable



Yountville, Calif.
Designer Kevin Shaw is not afraid to shake the tree and see what falls out. As founder of the design firm Stranger & Stranger, he’s created a wine bottle made of cardboard and packaged rum inside a ceramic killer octopus. Come Aug. 17, he’ll be sharing his vision of how packaging connects consumers with products and how the wine industry can look to other luxury items for inspiration.

“Something I always say about the industry is that it’s very insular, and they have to look out to other sectors and what they have done,” Shaw told Wines & Vines. “We’ve got some interesting takes on how the wine industry could start doing things slightly differently.”

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One-on-One Time with Wine Packaging Designers  
Interactive event continues at Wines & Vines Packaging Conference 



Yountville, Calif.
The popular activity Speed Dating with Designers will once again be part of the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference taking place Aug. 17 in Yountville.

The activity features six design firms that have sent their top designers to meet with winery personnel and answer questions about new packages and brands, refreshing old packages, reigniting a design element that has stalled for them, how to design their package for specific market segments and more.

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Wine Giants to Share Bottling Insights  
W&V Pack speakers to discuss sanitation, alternative packaging and key performance indicators  



Yountville, Calif.
Producing nearly 70 million cases of wine each year between them, The Wine Group and Trinchero Family Estates take up two of the the top four spots on Wines Vines Analytics’ list of the top U.S. wine companies. On Aug. 17, bottling and production specialists from these California wine producers will share some of the challenges and solutions involved with getting millions of gallons of wine out of barrels and tanks and into the hands of consumers.

During a session at the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference, Scott Childers, production manager for Trinchero Family Estates, will discuss the packaging execution strategy for the 17 million-case wine producer. In addition to outlining key performance indicators and objectives, Childers plans to discuss the company’s new $300 million winemaking facility in Lodi, Calif.

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Wine Packaging Design Entries Due July 22  
Packaging suppliers and wineries invited to compete for innovation and most shelf appeal  



Yountville, Calif.
Following on the success of the inaugural Packaging Design Awards last summer, Wines & Vines has opened the competition to both suppliers and wineries this year and extended the entry deadline to July 22.

Wineries across North America are eligible to submit one entry for each of their wine brands. To be considered, bottles, cans, bag-in-box formats and other submissions must be available for purchase and have been produced between Aug. 1, 2014 and July 31, 2016.

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Retail Wine Buyers Uncorked  
Experienced off-premise buyers share the secrets of wine packaging that sells 



Yountville, Calif.
With wine consumers trading up for pricier bottles at retail outlets, off-premise wine sales are becoming even more lucrative. But how can wineries ensure their products stand out on the shelf?

Experienced wine retailers will share their knowledge of what sells—and what doesn’t—during the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference taking place Aug. 17 at Lincoln Theater in Yountville. The speakers include Debbie Zachareas, managing partner and wine buyer at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, and Gary Fisch, founder of Gary’s Wine & Marketplace in New Jersey.

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Michael David Succeeds With Packaging 
Lodi winery's two marketing execs to speak at Aug. 17 conference 


Yountville, Calif.
The two top marketing executives at California’s fast-growing, family-owned Michael David Winery will kick off the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 17 by telling the story of the vital role packaging has played in the winery’s rise to national prominence.

Named Winery of the Year by industry analyst Jon Fredrikson, Michael David Winery became the Lodi region’s unofficial standard bearer with courageous and catchy brands including Seven Deadly Zins, Earthquake and the now-surging Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Wine Packaging Design Awards Expand  
North American wineries invited to enter their packages by July 15 


San Rafael, Calif.
The Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards are expanding this year, accepting entries from all interested North American wineries. Wine packages will be judged by a panel of wine and design industry professionals, and awards will be presented at the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 17.

The deadline for entries is July 15. In its first year, the awards included packages entered by wine industry suppliers who produced them for winery clients. This year the call for entries has expanded, and any winery or supplier may enter a package they have produced.

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Advisors Elevate Wine Packaging Conference  
Proven brand builders, creative directors and trade executives help shape Aug. 17 program  


Yountville, Calif.An all-star team of vintners, creative directors and wine trade executives has helped to create an outstanding lineup of topics and speakers for the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference taking place Aug. 17 in Yountville.

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Secrets of Cork Testing Revealed  
Lab tests 35,000 wine corks for TCA each year, incidence down since 2002  


Napa, Calif.The problem with cork taint in wine has been well documented. By the late 1990s, an estimated 2% to 10% of wine bottles were believed to be spoiled by varying degrees of the taint, most often caused by 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA). As a result, the cork industry saw some of its customers move to various alternative closures.

The problem with cork taint in wine has been well documented. By the late 1990s, an estimated 2% to 10% of wine bottles were believed to be spoiled by varying degrees of the taint, most often caused by 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA). As a result, the cork industry saw some of its customers move to various alternative closures.

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Can a Great Design Make You Rich?  
It coudn't hurt, say experts at Wines & Vines Packaging Conference  


Napa, Calif.— After sealing the deal to sell his Meiomi brand to Constellation Wines for $315 million, Joe Wagner became the wine industry’s newest “it boy.” The fifth-generation Napa Valley winemaker opened the second annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference in Napa on Aug. 21, giving the keynote address before an audience of 250 curious wine pros.

The 33-year-old Wagner began working with his father, Chuck, and grandparents Charlie and Lorna as a teenager. His single-vineyard Pinot Noir label Belle Glos, founded in 2002, is now the leading luxury Pinot Noir in the United States, thanks in part to a distinctive, instantly recognizable package.

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Building Value with Wine Packaging 
Meiomi founder discusses innovative packaging with an impact 


Napa, Calif.—More than 300 people attended the second annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference in Napa on Wednesday to gain insights on new wine packaging innovations as well as connect with suppliers.

The event took place at the former Copia building and began with a keynote address by Joe Wagner, who founded the Meiomi wine brand in 2006. Wagner recently sold the brand to Constellation Brands for $315 million and told an audience of 250 people inside the main theater at Copia that packaging played a pivotal role in achieving that valuation.

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Registration for Packaging Conference Nearly Full 
A few seats remain for Wednesday's trade show and meeting in Napa  


Napa, Calif..— handful of tickets remain available for the second annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference this Wednesday, which will feature four educational sessions, two limited-seating tastings, a focused trade show and other activities centered around wine package design and performance.

Conference sessions, breakfast, lunch, a targeted trade show and wine reception are all included in the $199 registration fee. Passes for exhibits and lunch only are now being offered at $39. The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Winemakers to 'Date' Package Designers  
Conference registrants will also vote in Packaging Design Competition 


Napa, Calif.—Winemakers will have an opportunity to “date” wine package designers at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 19, but the object will be marketing rather than romance.

Registrants at the second annual one-day conference in Napa will have the opportunity to meet for 10 minutes each with one or more of eight experienced wine package designers in a speed-dating format during the mid-morning Interactive Hour. Winery owners, winemakers and sales/marketing directors are invited to bring a current bottle or design idea to discuss as they get acquainted with these professionals.

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Technical Challenges of Packaging  
Conference will cover cork taint, total package oxygen and quality control in creative packaging   


Napa, Calif.—Three technical sessions at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 19 will explore the chemical and sensory implications of packaging decisions including cork taint, total package oxygen and the quality control ramifications of screwcaps and kegs. Two of these sessions will include blind tastings, while the third will reveal new data about the state of TCA incidence in natural cork.

Gordon Burns, co-founder of ETS Laboratories in St. Helena, Calif., will speak about “Demystifying Cork Quality Assurance.” He will share data from the Cork Quality Council on trichloroanisole detection, including results in at least two areas that he believes have never before been shared publicly. One area is what underlies the concept of group “soaks” of corks to detect TCA vs. individual soaks, and another is how a group soak relates to the subsequently bottled wine.

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All Stars of Wine Package Design to Speak
Creative director of Trinchero to lead discussion at Aug. 19 conference  

Napa, Calif.—An all-star panel of package designers will show and tell what’s new in materials and design at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 19. Andrew Rice, the creative director of Trinchero Family Estates, will moderate the presentation by three designers who have created successful packages for Meiomi, Ramey, Honig, Jackson Family and many other wineries.

The panel presentation will be one of five conference sessions and two special tasting sessions planned for the one-day meeting and trade show in the former Copia building in Napa, Calif. The designers will speak following the keynote talk by Joseph Wagner, the creator of the Meiomi brand that was recently acquired by Constellation Brands for $315 million.

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Unpacking Wine Package Design
Nielsen will share best practices for winning with consumers

Napa, Calif.
—The Nielsen Co. has long been known for tracking what consumers watch on television. Today marketers of packaged goods rely on Nielsen to track what consumers buy in stores. At the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 19, Nielsen will reveal the results of an exclusive study that evaluates consumer perceptions and behaviors related to wine package design and branding.

This month, Nielsen conducted a study of more than 2,500 consumers to understand the impact of package design within the wine category. According to Andrew Haney, vice president of Nielsen Design Solutions, the research involved a 360° assessment of select top-selling packages using cutting-edge design technologies that included eye-tracking and simulated choice scenarios about purchasing decisions.

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Packaging Conference Features Meiomi Founder
Joe Wagner, whose 500,000-case brand recently sold for $315 million, will share secrets to success


Napa, Calif.—The young winemaker who recently agreed to sell his Meiomi brand of California wine to Constellation Brands for $315 million will be the lead-off speaker at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 19. Joe Wagner, a member of Napa Valley’s Wagner Family of Wine—founders of Caymus Vineyards— developed Meiomi while working for the family. He perfected an extremely popular flavor profile for the primarily Pinot Noir line while paying close attention to the wine’s package design, including a subtly tapered Burgundy-style bottle and twist-off closure with concealed threads.

In 2014 Wagner formed his own company, Copper Cane Wines & Provisions, to produce Meiomi, Elouan and Carne Humana and to market other wines and merchandise. Constellation Brands announced July 1 that it had agreed to acquire the Meiomi brand, which had grown to more than 500,000 cases in 2014.

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