Voyageur Journal


Viewing posts from the #labellust category

#labellust – Burn Cottage

Burn Cottage is seriously awesome stuff. Made in Central Otago, New Zealand – everything about this wine is cool – the people behind it, the labels and most importantly the wine itself.

On visiting the property it was easy to see the cool-factor runs far deeper than its label. An immaculate bio-dynamically run property, producing phenomenal Pinot.


I sat down with owner Marquis Sauvage to learn more about them and their story.

VS: The Burn Cottage label is very distinctive, its unique and unlike any other. How did you decide on the visual imagery for the brand?

BC:  In meeting with our designer we went through a bunch of different types of imagery. They were able to get a feel for what it was that I was looking for, and the sort of imagery I like.  I am a huge fan of Heavy Metal, so those type of images come through in both The Burn Cottage and Cashburn Labels.  We also wanted to relay the message that we are a biodynamic vineyard, and make our wine with minimal intervention.   The story of The Green Snake and Beautiful Lilly just really seemed to cover all bases.


Marquis in the centre…

VS: Can you tell us the story behind the ‘Green Snake and Beautiful Lily’ fairytale and how it is relevant to Burn Cottage.

BC: The Green Snake and Beautiful Lilly is a fairy tale by Goethe. Rudolf Steiner, the father of Biodynamics, was inspired by this story so we thought it fitting to use the story as inspiration for The Burn Cottage Label.  The fairy tale is about how man should co exist within the natural world.  The images depicted on The Burn Cottage Label, are all represented in the fairy tale itself.   i.e: the snake, lilly, wise men, etc.


VS: Who did you work with to design the labels?

BC: We worked with some great wiz kids at a company called Mash Designs out of Adelaide Australia.  They have done some other fabulous wine labels.  In fact we are currently developing a new label with them at the moment, so stay tuned.  Dom there has done a great job for us.


VS: Was it the same people that designed your labels that also did your website?

BC: Mash also came up with the our website as well, which is super cool!  However, I may be biased.


VS: Do you think that the way wine looks/is packaged affects people’s perception of the actual wine?

BC: We wanted to come up with a package that was unique and grab peoples attention.  However, as with all great wine, the proof is in the bottle, so that had to be there too.  I think it would be difficult to “pull off,” a label like Burn Cottage if the quality of the wine was not there.  I think sometimes people see Burn Cottage as a cool label, and are surprised that the quality of the pinot is also there in the bottle.


VS: Were you trying to attract a specific demographic to your wines when you designed the labels or are they more a reflection of you, and this is what you are trying to express

BC: No, we were not going after a certain group of wine drinkers with the label.  We were being selfish, and doing what we liked!  It is the same way we make our wine.   We hope people like the label and the wine, but if not, that is ok too.  We always joke, that there is no middle ground with our label.  You either love it or hate it.  Which is fine by us either way.   We also wanted to take the pretension out of wine as well with our label, and make it accessible to all.

To get your hands on some visit and to get in touch with their awesome designers go to



#labellust – Vinteloper

The first winery to be featured in #labellust had to be Vinteloper. They were actually the labels that inspired me to make talking about labels, the graphics and the design of them, a regular feature of this blog.

The Labels!

The Labels!

Hence, it was only natural that we spoke to David Bowley owner and winemaker or as his business card says – chief everything officer!

David Bowley

David Bowley

I actually saw people with tattoos of his wine label before I had seen the actual wines, I was at an awesome event that brings Pinot Noir lovers together called Pinot Palooza. His table was one of the busiest, but I wasn’t in any rush, the setting was Carriage Works in Sydney, it was a sunny day, there was a DJ playing good tunes and a Mexican foodtruck – what more can you ask for. Eventually I made it to the Vinteloper table and was immediately impressed by the labels, it was lust at first sight. #labellust can be dangerous for the heart however, expectations are high and all to frequently some of the best labels are found on the most average wines. A little bit like meeting a handsome guy or a beautiful woman that you have absolutely nothing in common with. Its pretty awesome however when the wine in the bottle is equally if not better than you had hoped for. The wine leaves a lasting imprint on your memory.



Since then, I have gotten to know David, tasted all the wines and can tell this guy just gets it. From the website and the language used, its not just about being on trend – he’s in it for the long run.

We had chat with David to find out how his labels came about and why the visual identity of his winery is so important to him.

1). How did you go about your creative process for deciding how you wanted Vinteloper as brand to look and in turn the labels?

After 4 years of the ‘old’ labels, it occurred to me that the message I communicated to people about VINTELOPER through tastings, social media and some of the unique events I do was not being reflected in the package. I woke up one morning in a cold sweat, rang a friend who is a graphic designer and said “we need to get together – TODAY”.


2). Can you tell us a little bit about the story behind each label?

My wife, Sharon, is an extremely talented person who has levels of intelligence, commitment and precision most of us can only dream of. Although she is not a professional artist, she loves to draw. One day, she drew something that contained incredibly fine detail and many layers, much in the same way I hope my wines are. Meshing these elements together was a no-brainer.

The super talented Sharon!

The super talented Sharon!

3). Who did you work with to design the labels?

Sharon is responsible for the drawings then I work with Chantal at Faux, Non Faux! She is a fantastic and really talented designer in Melbourne.


4). Was it the same people that designed your labels that also did your logo? So cool that people want to tattoo it on themselves!

Kind of… It has been a group effort between Chantal, Sharon and I. We really wanted the logo to be simple, powerful and distinct. Easily recognisable as Vinteloper. The devil is in the detail as they say, which is therein the line drawing and afterwards water colours come in to play.


5). Do you think that the way wine looks/is packaged affects people’s perception of the actual wine?

Absolutely! You can sight examples the world over from both old and new. Think of Chianti in the whicker baskets, what perception does that give, similarly labels like Penfolds or Wendouree, they speak of tradition and established quality. At the other end, take my MO/13 Moscato Giallo. Packaged in a 500ml amber beer bottle with a crown seal. It felt like every single person that saw and tasted that wine made a connection to cider, mostly because of the packaging. It is SUPER important as most of the time it is the only form of communication you have about the wine and what it should be about.

MO/13 Moscato Giallo

MO/13 Moscato Giallo

6). Were you trying to attract a specific demographic to your wines when you designed the labels or are they more a reflection of you, and this is what you are trying to express?

There is a target demographic but it is pretty broad. I want to attract people who like interesting things. “Interesting things” can be a lot of things, so it can be easier to tell you what isn’t interesting… Marlborough Sav Blanc is not interesting. A coffee from McCafe is not interesting. Ordering the Muesli when you go out for breakfast is not interesting… I want to attract people that are searching for interesting. That like fine detail & commitment to a craft. I want to attract people who value FREEDOM. Freedom of expression, artistic freedom and who value the concept of searching for the best possible experience. I hope the labels express that.


Awesome David. Thanks for sharing with us the creative process behind your beautiful wines and their labels.

Now more importantly, for everyone that wants to actually taste what’s inside the bottle – head over to where you can purchase it.




Im the last person on the planet that can say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ when it comes to buying wine. I have bookshelves full of books with great covers that I haven’t read and im the sucker that buys the overpriced shampoo and conditioner at the supermarket, just because I like the packaging.

Its for this reason that I have always been aware of wine labels and the affect they have on me. I love them. With wine being my profession however, I always try to be as unbiased on this front as possible and just look at the wine in the glass when assessing its quality. But lets face it – we’re human – and labels and their design play a major role in the decisions we make when buying a wine. There’s nothing more I love than having a wine with a cool label arrive on my desk, or browsing the shelves of a great wine store – I could spend hours in a wine store, just as I could a book store, I know many people who feel the same.

Wine labels have cognitive effects beyond simply informing consumers about the bottle’s contents – region, vintage, varietal etc. Evidence suggests that labels can emotionally affect a consumers’ memory of a wine, their purchasing decisions, and even their perceptions of the wine’s quality. Hence, it is my opinion, that in today’s crowded global wine market, a producer would be crazy to believe that their label is irrelevant.

So this got me thinking – what is it about a wine label that appeals to people, the secret recipe that convinces them to spend an extra $5 than they originally intended. Generally I am all about the story behind the label, my job as a sommelier is to tell you more about a wine than the label can, but in #labellust we are going to focus on nothing else. We’ll be interviewing the graphic designers who craft them, the winemakers who go extra mile to stand out on the shelf, sommeliers and you the consumer to see what it is about wine labels that make us lust over them.