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Wine Label Design: A History in Time

The history of wine labels is directly linked to the great variety of this drink, which in turn has always been influenced by the places of cultivation. This influence goes beyond the final characteristics of the product such as smell, taste and color, it also brings cultural and historical values ​​of its producers and consumers.

It all started with the need for certain regions to visually highlight the difference of their wines. Exhibit values, through design, illustrations and colors that made their drinks unique and special. Obviously it is necessary to consider that this has also always been linked to commercial strategies that go from ancient Egypt to the present times.

How it all started: The beginning of wine production

The first signs of wine labels production date from 8000 BC to 4100 BC These indications include ancient wineries found in Armenia, grape residues in clay pots in Georgia. There are also traces of domestication of grapes in eastern From the Caucasus, the grape followed the expansion of civilization across the continents to the south and west. The Phoenicians and the Greeks, thanks to navigation, were mainly responsible for the dissemination of wine throughout Europe.

Wine labels in ancient civilizations

Several ancient civilizations gave great importance and worshiped wine labels. Many of them dedicated deities and mystical entities to him, or practiced rituals where wine was indispensable.The history of wine in Western culture begins in Ancient Greece. At the time, the Greeks believed that wine was a gift from Olympus, the nectar of the gods to bless simple mortals.

Egypt demonstrate that the ancient Egyptians were probably the first to label their wines, more than 1300 BC Very complete labels, where it was possible to find information about the year of harvest, region of production and data of the producer. Although the Egyptians were the pioneers in the detailed labeling of wine labels, it was in the Persian Empire that the label became indispensable. All because the Persian production was vast and there was a need to value the drink and highlight its importance.

The start of large-scale wine label production

During the Renaissance, wine regions that had better quality, became more prominent. In the 18th century, the wine trade was growing, especially in France. At the time, the Bordeaux Region became the largest producer of excellent wine. The development of different types of grape led to the production of regional wines increasingly unique and distinct from each other.

As wine producers became more proud of the quality of their product, the need to illustrate that quality with personalized labels also grew. The designs, colors and use of typography began to gain popularity and started to be used more often as adornments.

Branding in the Wine Trade

The need to produce suitable labels for each type of wine was motivated due to some factors:

The development of the bottle industry;

The increase in diversity in wine production;

Distribution needs 

The first wine labels made in around the 19th century were quite generic in terms of design. Printed on rectangles of white paper in the Gothic or Bodoni font, and were limited to identifying the type of wine that the bottle contained. Sometimes the dealers also gave the name of the wine and the year of the harvest.

At the same time, in France, labels were created by the major champagne producers. These could be gold, silver, bronze, blue, or other colors.Over time, the labels also began to be used to state how wonderful the wine was in the bottle that decorated, displaying from honorable mentions the medals and trophies it won.


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