Chilean Wine via Mexico in English

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Here’s yet another graphic depiction of a grapevine on a wine bottle. Not an original idea, but I learned in design school that some of the greatest ideas are oft-expressed concepts. The trick is in the execution, which must be done with a new twist or greater flair than ever before. Thus is the case with Root:1, a lovely bottle that crossed my path while in Acapulco.

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Of all the wines flowing through our vacation Mecca that week, this one caught my eye. I’m always a sucker for a silk-screened wine bottle. The process has more limitations than printing on paper, so it kind of separates the “art men” from the “art boys”. Pardon my chauvinism, but the images that come to mind do make me giggle.

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In the case of Root:1, the grapevine is artfully depicted in minimalist detail. Every curve and line turning from thick to thin is essential. The vines and roots are surrounded by English words in classically designed typography. They tell the little known story of Chilean viticulture. I found it interesting:

“Chile is a rarity in the wine world. Unique geographic & climatic forces have allowed it to remain one of the very few grape growing regions in the world where the original European rootstocks survive, unaffected by phylloxera – the disease that forced grape growers worldwide to graft vines onto generic rootstocks. Chile’s isolation, protected by the mighty Andes to the East and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean to the West ensures that grape vines can remain on the original rootstocks in the purest form…”

Root:1 is from the Chile’s Colchagua Valley. So it’s interesting that English words play a support role in the design of the graphics. The back label is also in English. Is this the case for all wines imported from Chile? I contacted Rebecca Rader from the Click Wine Group to get some answers. She told me:

Root:1 is the result of a partnership between Vina Ventisquero and Click Wine Group (Seattle Washington), and was created for the US market.”

This explains the English text front and back. Rebecca noted that not all Chilean labels are in English. It’s really a mix. Some have English on the front and Spanish on the back.

Most Chilean wines have Spanish-sounding names such as Casa Lapostolle, Vermonte, Palo Alto and Concha Y Toro, but the name Root:1 was chosen because it is very easy to pronounce and has a distinctively memorable story on the label.”

Was the Chilean wine truly superior to those made from grafted rootstock? Hmm…I didn’t actually read the label until long after I enjoyed the wines, the margaritas, the tequilas and the sangria. Let’s just say research was not high on the agenda. But it’s a compelling story, isn’t it? And the wine went wonderfully with this pico de gallo and handmade taquitos.

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Root:1 Wines
Suggested retail for all varietals:  $12.99
Cases per year: 90,000
Launch Date:  January 2006
Design:  Turner Duckworth, San Francisco

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.

- www.sugarmandesigngroup.com


A special thank you to Rebecca Rader of Click Wine Group

3 thoughts on “Chilean Wine via Mexico in English

  1. Holly Marples

    For some reason when I visit this site now, the text looks really big. Does anyone else have the same problem? It seems like other pages load ok, so I’m not sure what it is.

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