I have always loved wine and while attending Western Washington’s Design School, I did a project involving a made-up winery. I had been in Sicily the year before so I used that as my inspiration. I had become interested in wine packaging while attending school and would often browse the shelves at the local market, it was there that I started to realize that there was a thriving wine region in my own back yard.
Years later we relocated to the middle of Washington state and found ourselves smack dab in the middle of orchard country and a budding and thriving wine region. Washington, with the exception of a few large production wineries, is mainly made up of smaller, craft wineries. These, for the most part, being started and headed up by talented wine makers and long time orchardists. When it comes to Washington’s wine culture, the story is being written as we speak.
All of this has been very inspiring and offers a very unique opportunity to work with wineries and help them tell their story through identity, packaging and web. We have had the opportunity to do just that when we were hired by Crayelle Cellars. Their story is one of hard work and an intense passion for wine. They are true innovators in that they bravely released an Albareño wine which is very new to this area. Working with them has been a great journey. Their story focused mostly on their wines as the inspiration for their identity. Their target market is the sophisticated and knowledgeable drinkers of wine. They strive to deliver a premium product.
As I said, Crayelle focused on their premium wines as the foundation of their logo and brand. While this seems to be the obvious choice for any winery, there are many directions that inspiration can come from. Washington has many stories to be told and here are just a few interesting things about our area that I have observed
The Washington Wine Design Story:
Washingtons Unique Dirt!
Without dirt, you can forget about wine. Washington has great dirt and some wineries have used this as their inspiration. It’s not just the dirt. It’s the story behind the dirt that will grab your attention. From violent, volcanic activity to earth shattering ice age floods, Washinton’s wine country was not born easily. And many wineries choose to reflect this dramatic story in their identity and branding.
Washington’s wine country may be still relatively young but, surprisingly, the local history includes the growing of grapes and the making of wine. Upland Estates story, whom we have worked with for years now reflects this. Their site has the whole story, but what makes them particularly notable is that they were the first winery to appear on the east side of the Cascade Mountains and the first in the state to grow and produce European varieties of grapes and wines. They boast the second oldest vines in the state and proudly display a gnarled vine on their wine labels.
There is a big reason that Washington fruit is world famous. The conditions are a perfect mix for growing apples, pears, cherries and stone fruit. The other factor is the long lines of families that have dedicated themselves and their land to growing this premium fruit. So, it’s no wonder that some of these families have started adding wine grapes to their orchard lands. Let’s be honest here, what is better then getting together with family and friends and sharing laughs, food, fun and of course wine? These wines tend to be purely inviting. Their vision of bringing together people around a bottle of wine is such a great thing to reflect. It’s one of the reasons why we drink wine.
Out of Washington’s spunky and deeply passionate wine culture have come some beautiful and unique identities and labels. Each tell a very unique story. To those of us who live in these areas, the stories are deeply personal. That is what makes this little pocket of wine country so unique. Chances are, that if you are drinking a washington wine, you will have some tie back to the area, or the natural setting or the history behind the experience. I encourage readers to come visit our unique area and try our wines. Wenatchee and Cashmere Valleys offer many selections. Lake Chelan’s thriving vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms will easily fill up a weekend for the wine lover in all of us!
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