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Wine Label History & Evolution | Part One

Evolution of the Wine Label Paso Robles

Wine Label History & Evolution | Part One of Series – Part Two

Paso Robles wineries have a wide array of varietals and labels to show their region, wine-maker, vintage and information.  So which label design actually stands out as you tour this vast area of wineries?  If you were at the grocery store and you had no idea what was inside each bottle to taste, what label would you be drawn to, to pick up and hold in your hand?

The evolution of the wine label has come a long way from the early Egyptian days to the modern and creative designs of today. Here we will go over the first half of the wine label progression and how it brings your hand to it’s bottle even when you don’t know a thing about the wine inside!

Known as Persian legend, wine was discovered by a depressed young girl who wanted to kill herself, thus drinking the spoiled and old residue left by rotting table grapes. Instead of poisoning herself as she intended, she was intoxicated and delightfully found the pleasures that life could offer her.  Thus wine was born!

Evidence dated back to 1352 BC, from Egypt’s King Tut burial site (unearthed in 1922 by archeologist Howard Carter), indicates that the ancient Egyptians were the first who actually labeled their wines detailing the vintage, the growing region or vineyard and the wine-maker.

Then it was in the Persian Empire that started labeling wines because of necessity and the many variety of wines produced.

Evolution of the Wine Label Paso RoblesEvolution of the Wine Label Paso Robles

The early label artwork in Europe was simply small identifying pieces of parchment tied with string around the neck of the bottle.

Later, labels included carvings in the base of a pewter stand describing the region of the wine. By the 1700’s, labels were then designed on a stone.

By 1798, lithography had been invented and all wine labels could be printed in mass quantities.

Evolution of the  Wine Label Paso RoblesEvolution of the Wine Label

As wine-makers gained more pride and notability in the quality of their wines, creating a perfect label to show it off became more important and necessary for recognition. Designs, descriptions, winemaker notes and color became prevalent.

Thus the evolution of the wine label became commercial and started to get creative reflecting the artwork and market of the time period.  Paso Robles has it’s own history of label design as each winery has started and moved into modern times.  The next part will focus on the transition of traditional wine label design into the modern era where the wine stands on its own with simple marketing to extreme dynamic packaging.

Look for Part Two > HERE

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