Wine Packaging Awards Open for Entries

Early bird pricing available until April 30; new categories include product series, luxury and redesign

by Kate Lavin
wines vines packaging design awards
Attendees consider finalists for the 2016 Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards.

San Rafael, Calif.—The Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards are open for business.

As of Monday, Wines & Vines is now accepting entries for its third annual competition to choose the best and most innovative wine packages from around North America. Several categories were added this year to better reflect the diversity of the wine market.

The categories include:
• Best Classic Format Package Design (glass bottles)
• Best Alternative Format Package Design (bag-in-box, cans, cartons, etc.)
• Best Luxury Package Design (bottles priced $50 and up)
• Best Package Redesign (before and after)
• Best Package Series Design (product line)

Wines & Vines graphic designer Rebecca Arnn, who is managing the design competition, said organizers decided to add new categories based on trends among entries to the 2016 competition. “With these categories, we can really focus on and celebrate more honed-in winners,” she said. For example, “People were doing a lot of series in order to show their whole line and not just one bottle. This category considers the brand as a whole.”

Another new category, Best Luxury Package Design, is exclusive to bottles with retail prices of $50 and up. These designs tend to be more understated but crafted from high-end materials, according to Arnn, who said setting them apart means “the luxury packages can stand on their own.”

The Best Package Redesign category celebrates the work that goes into a redesign and how brands benefit from the evolution of wine packaging. “I thought this category was interesting because people put so much work into their packages,” Arnn said. “It’s good to see where they’ve learned and grown.”

New for 2017, both wineries and packaging suppliers are eligible to enter wine packages in the competition, and the entry fee is the same regardless of who submits the package. A flat early bird price of $75 applies to each category except Best Package Series Design, for which contestants are asked to provide between two and five samples from the series for an entry fee of $125. Entries received after April 30 will be $140 for Best Package Series Design and $90 for all other categories.

Awards history
Now in its third year, the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards has grown from a feature created to showcase packaging suppliers’ products during the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference to an independently judged event open to any producer that sold wine made from grapes grown in a North American appellation between May 1, 2015, and May 31, 2017.

wines vines packaging design awards
Winners of the 2016 Wines & Vines Packaging Awards.

Winners from the 2016 awards included Run Riot Pinot Noir by Treasury Wine Estates (Most Outstanding Package-jury), Q&A red wine blend by Rubin Wines (Most Outstanding Package-jury), Reed Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Most Innovative Package-jury), Wooden Bottle Wine Co. (Most Outstanding Package-people’s choice) and One87 Wine & Cocktails (Most Innovative Package-people’s choice).

The jury for the design competition is comprised of wine industry and design experts. Arnn believes the “quality of the technique” led the 2016 jury to name Reed Wine Cellars the winner of the Most Innovative award. The package involved using a “spray-coated mask” to cover the top third of the bottle in red, creating the effect of wax but with a smooth, flat finish.

For Rubin Wines’ brand Q&A, judges responded to the multiple labels used to fill a case. “That makes each bottle a collectible,” Arnn said.

As in 2016, attendees of the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference will have the opportunity to see in person all finalists chosen by the jury and vote for their favorites. Their votes will be tabulated, and a People’s Choice Award will be presented along with the other awards at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 16 in Yountville, Calif.

To learn more about the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards, or to enter, visit wvpack.com. Entries received on or before April 30 will get a $15 early bird discount.


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