by Paula Sugarman
Touring through Tuscany last month was an amazing experience. My husband and I are both incorrigible travel bugs. If there’s a hilltop citadel in the distance, we are driven to see it, no matter how late it is or how far we’ve already traveled that day. We just can’t help ourselves. Whenever possible I grab a moment to scout wine labels. I’m always on the hunt for fun or unusual art. And, of course, we have to slake our thirst from time to time too. Here are some wine label designs that sparked my interest.
(story continues below photos)
One day, as we were barreling toward Montepulciano, we came across a field of giant dusty wine bottles (see globe shaped green bottle above). There were over 40 of them, each about 30 inches tall. They looked like they held 5 or 6 gallons of wine each and had wicker-looking baskets that must have been used to carry them. I just learned they are called demijons, and are still used in both home and commercial winemaking in Europe when there is too much to fit in the barrel.
I found these spindly bottles (bottom photo) in the side room of a Cortona restaurant. They stood almost 4 feet tall, and their shapes, little tassles and baskets indicate they held some very special wines. We don’t know anything about them, and the restaurant staff was too busy to ask. So I just snapped off a couple of pix and added them to my treasure trove. If these emerald-toned vessels could talk, I’ll bet they’d have many stories to tell.
Our adventures in Tuscany live on as I share them with you. They’ve already inspired several paintings and will provide rich material for future wine label designs. Cheers to a great trip and a husband who also can’t say no to a road that winds beyond our vision.
Paula Sugarman is owner and creative director of Sugarman Design Group, a California graphic design studio specializing in brand identity, wine label design and food package design.
* Thank you to Paul Wagner and AllExperts.com for their information on Italian wine bottles.