What’s in a label?

While, in many ways, the last three years have been a time of hibernation (you all remember lockdowns, right?), here at the winery, it has been a time of significant change.  Looking back to 2020, we have new staff, more great events than ever, bottles without capsules and, as of 2020, all new labels.   The changes were driven both by the necessity of AVA designations and a desire to create a consistent and elegant label befitting the wine and the brand.

Sanjeev and I grew the original labels organically, adding new labels as we added new wines. Long-time members may remember when we had only one or two varieties and were offering partner/guest wines to create a rounded tasting.   The labels for our estate wines and Willamette Valley wines were indistinguishable.  Working from a palette of browns and earth tones, we created labels without any particular rationale.

Then, the European Union recognized the Willamette Valley as a protected label.  This was great news overall but also meant that we could no longer use that brand.  We released our last vintage, Willamette Valley, in 2020.  Get it while you can.

We’ve come a long way since the days when we only had one wine and one label.  When you receive your next shipment or come in for a tasting, you can decode your bottles as follows:

  1. An elegant black label is used for our Estate Pinot Noir, what you used to know as Yamhill-Carlton and best represents our oldest blocks.
  2. An estate-grown symbol designates our many wines that are made from estate grapes only.
  3. A single-clone logo is used on single-clone wines such as 115 and Wadenswil.  These are also labeled club exclusive.
  4. Color has been introduced to echo the art and garden:
    1. Almond – Estate Chardonnay
    2. Black – Estate Pinot Noir
    3. Eggplant – Heritage Clones
    4. Blue – Dijon Clones
    5. Cloud – White Pinot
    6. Cream and rose – Rosé
    7. Earth – Single Clones
    8. Blue wash – Spectrum
    9. Screenprint saffron – Expressionism
    10. Screenprint white – Impressionism
  5. The new naked corks are etched with a new estate symbol. A previous newsletter covered the demise of the capsules.

Our best advice for appreciating the new labels: collect them all!

Five Saffron Field bottles showing new labels.


By Published On: November 5, 2023Categories: Musings0 Comments