Updated: Nov 5, 2018
Growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, wineries have always been a much larger part of day to day life for me than it may have been for people who live elsewhere. Even before I was old enough to have ever stepped foot in a bar, I knew quite a bit about many of the local wineries because their reputation preceded them.
This should be the goal of any winery. Upon the mention of their name, a distinct image should come to people's mind of what that winery stands for. This image is the result of successful winery branding, and that's what we'll be discussing today.
Regardless of what style of branding you go with, it's important to maintain a level of consistency. I know, it's so tempting to want to bring all of the awesome ideas you've had for styles of wine labels, interior design, and everything else to fruition. The reality is though, people need to be able to peg you to a certain extent. Is this the kind of winery I bring my bachelorette party to? Or more like the kind I bring my grandparents to, or have my wedding at? Allow your guests to be confident in what they're getting.
Once you've resigned yourself to the fact that you'll need to pick a brand and stick to it, it's time to get down to business.
Personally, I believe that there are basically four different ways to brand a collection of wines. Old world feel, elegant & refined, party wine, or Pretty wine.
Each of these types of wine have a strong following (with some overlap of course) and picking one of them is going to affect the type of clientele your winery attracts. See below for an FLX example of each and why it's successful. If your wondering why I've chosen two different Three Brothers Wineries, it's because I interned with them and am 100% biased towards them (sorry).
Old World Feel
Between their classic name and Italian Renaissance style label design, Villa Bellangelo is a great example of both executing an old world feel and establishing a consistent design style with all of their labels.
Elegant & Refined
Billsboro's branding is great because it achieves a minimalistic feel while still remaining bright helps it stand out from other wines. Also, the image of a grape vine under a microscope is a great way to add visual interest in a way that still seems elegant.
I think that party wine can come in many forms, but typically they're a sweeter wine with humorous names and fun label designs. See below for a few FLX takes on the party wine. (Notable mentions in this category include the Redneck family of wines from Torrey Ridge and Sweet Walter Red from Bully Hill Winery.)
My favorite girly and pretty wines in the Finger Lakes are the newly rebranded Women of Distinction series from Passion Feet at Three Brothers. Not only are they gorgeous, they also honor badass women. I'll drink to that!