Wine Packaging Design Awards Open

Wines & Vines now accepting luxury, series, alternative, redesign and classic submissions

by Kate Lavin
wine packaging design awards
The 2017 Best in Show award went to The Fableist Wine Co. for its entry in the series category.
San Rafael, Calif.—Wines & Vines is now accepting entries for its annual Packaging Design Awards. Now in its fourth year, the competition includes five categories judged by wine industry and design professionals as well as a people’s choice award selected by attendees of the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference, which will be held Aug. 9.

This year’s categories include:

Classic format, which is open to wines packaged in 750 ml glass bottles. The classic format category allows elements such as label design, materials used, uniform application and closure selection to shine. Judges are given the price point of classic-format bottles, allowing them to judge each package based on its fitness for the category.

wine packaging design awards
Best Classic Format Package Design: 2017 gold medalist.
The 2017 winner in the classic-format category was Cooper & Thief Cellarmasters’ 2014 red wine blend. Taking its name from the tools of the trade, Cooper & Thief used a short, wide-shouldered bottle from Bruni Glass and a vintage-inspired label that appeared to have been stamped and individually signed, lending an air of exclusivity to each bottle.

Alternative format entries can include bag-in-box wines, cans, cartons and other packages outside the standard label-on-glass bottle style. Judges will evaluate these packages for their functionality and creativity.

wine packaging design awards
Best Alternative Format Package Design: 2017 gold medalist.
The first-place winner in this category in 2017 was a Cabernet Sauvignon from Element Cellars of Angwin, Calif. The bag-in-box format got an upgrade, thanks to a wooden box with a built-in handle and the Smurfit-Kappa Vitop spout. Wooden boxes are printed with popular wine varietals that mimic the periodic table of elements, using symbols such as Cs for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Luxury package is a category open to wine bottles that sell for $40 and above. Entries should stand out in this elevated field and employ materials that convey a higher price point without losing functionality.

wine packaging design awards
Best Luxury Package Design: 2017 gold medalist.
The 2017 winner in the luxury category was the 25th anniversary release from King Estate. The design, created by Affinity Creative Group, included a metal label embossed with “25” and the words “Stewardship • Family • Tradition.” The capsule was printed with metallic ink and reflected the same number and phrase.

Package redesign is a category open to wines that have had their packaging reimagined to improve, simplify and/or refresh brand image. For this category, an example of the new design is submitted along with the previous version, allowing judges to evaluate the improvement in the redesigned package and its visual appeal.

wine packaging design awards
Best Package Redesign: 2017 gold medalist.
This category in 2017 was a favorite of the judges, who enjoyed seeing how packaging was able to elevate the wines and their perceived value from year to year. Treasury Wine Estates’ Sterling Vineyards won the first-place award for the redesign category, playing on its “Sterling” namesake with a unique label shape and brushed-metal appearance. The change lifted the package from standard to standout.

Series design is a category open to two or more wines that use packaging elements to work together as a cohesive unit. While a series may have innumerable offerings, the maximum number of packages that can be entered for this category is five. Judges evaluate this category for how the packages are used to tell a story.

wine packaging design awards
Best Package Series Design: 2017 gold medalist.
In 2017, The Fableist Wine Co. of San Luis Obispo, Calif., took the gold medal for series design as well as the best overall award, chosen by the judges from among the first-place winners of each category. The Fableist labels included numbers that matched Aesop’s Fables and hand-illustrated designs with metallic foil to reflect each story.

If entered before Feb. 16, the entry fee for the Best Package Series Design category is $90, and all other categories are $75. Prices will go up $15 for entries after that date. To enter, wines must be made of grapes grown in North America and have been produced (bottled) between March 1, 2016 and July 31, 2018.

To enter the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards, visit wvpack.com.

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