In Case some of you out there didn't know I grew up in near Napa Valley. I went to high school in Napa. Wow, you may think, how cool to grow up in Napa! Seriously, think about it. Can you imagine being 17 in the vast lands of vineyards with nothing to do. We were surrounded by the utmost beautiful landscapes you can think of, fantastic weather, great restaurants and über fabulous people, but were bored out of our teenage minds. I was friends with... well just think of any major winery and I knew the kids-they were bored too. We drove around, went to parties, drank beer or strawberry hill (yeah dude) and complained of nothing to do. However, I did pay close attention to the signs around me as I drove the windy roads of highway 12 and the streets of sonoma, singing along to James, Depeche mode, sometimes a little Led Zeppelin, I noticed the wineries and their logos. I remember always appreciating the way they used type and color. I loved (and still love) how they use fine art for special bottles, and a slightly different shape for the Pinot Noir verses the Cabernet. It is almost sexy.
I love wine. I love drinking wine and do try to pick ones for the taste but I am a sucker for a great label. I will buy any wine if I love the label. Sometimes it is just the simplicity of the text or sometimes it has the vintage qualities of an old early 19th century advertisement. it all inspires me. I will drink that bottle, but what is most important to me is the label. I will save it. If I am stuck on a design I will look at my labels. If I want a amazing font with that special curve on the G, I look through my labels or go buy a new bottle. It all is amazing to me. Now, when I go back to napa, I breathe the air, I enjoy the rolling hills of vineyards, and I use the time to discover new wineries, new labels, and new art. Oh and I drink wine with my friends until our lips and teeth are as purple as can be.
Here are some of my favorite labels. I know some of the pics are small but I can't find larger images and I am too lazy to scan my own labels.
On a side note the Buoncristiani wine label is painted by my friend Aaron Buoncristiani. He is a wonderful artist and winemaker.
Enjoy my inspiration.