Packaging Awards Propel Vendor, Winery to New Heights

2017 competition now open to wineries and suppliers

by Kate Lavin
wines vines packaging awards competition reed
After being recognized for its stellar design in the Wine Packaging Awards sponsored by Wines & Vines magazine, Reed Cellars’ 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon was featured on the cover of Packaging Digest’s fall issue.

Yountville, Calif.—When packaging firm Quest Industries signed up to exhibit at the 2016 Wines & Vines Packaging Conference, a chain of events was set in motion that would eventually land the company’s work on a magazine cover and snag an employee two medals at a major wine competition.

Eager to participate in the Wine Packaging Awards associated with the annual conference, Quest staffers originally found themselves unsure of what wine to submit. According to rules for the contest, entries had to be for sale to the public and not just fantastical designs dreamed up by beverage industry vendors.

One of the company’s signature offerings was created by Quest chief technology officer Ryan Reed, who created the mask spray technique for his own Reed Cellars wines to mimic the natural flow seen on wax-dipped bottles such as Maker’s Mark bourbon. Quest submitted the winery’s 2011 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon and hoped for the best.

The months ahead
Behind the scenes, a panel of five judges from wine and design backgrounds critiqued and voted on dozens of entries to the Wine Packaging Awards, eventually selecting winners in the categories of most innovative and most outstanding. When the results were unveiled at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference in August 2016, the bottle from Reed Cellars emerged as the judges’ No. 1 choice for Most Innovative Package submitted by a supplier.

“It was a huge turning point for us to have been at the trade show, enter the contest and win the award,” Dennis Sones, vice president of sales and marketing for Quest, told Wines & Vines today. “It really put us on the map.”

Soon after, Lisa McTigue Pierce, executive editor of Packaging Digest magazine, read about Quest’s victory at the Wine Packaging Awards and contacted the vendor to learn more about the company’s mask spray method. Weeks later, the winning bottle of Reed Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon appeared on the cover of Packaging Digest’s fall issue.

“We had so much publicity come out of this,” Sones said of media mentions since the company's win at the Wine Packaging Awards. But the story doesn’t end there.

Buoyed by the success of his bottle, Reed entered his wines in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The 2011 Cabernet already honored for its packaging won a gold medal, and a 2012 Tempranillo from the Lodi AVA won a double gold.

2017 awards open now
Wines & Vines is now accepting entries for its 2017 Wine Packaging Awards, and organizers have added a number of categories to highlight accomplishments in packaging redesign and wine series.

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)

Entries will be accepted until May 31. The fee for the Best Package Series Design is $140; all other categories are $90 per entry. For packages to be eligible, entries must contain wine from a North American appellation and have been bottled and made available to the public between May 1, 2015, and May 31, 2017.

For more information about the Wine Packaging Awards, or to enter, visit wvpack.com.




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