So could area wineries be missing the boat?
"Art on wine labels definitely plays an important role," said
"It might be the deciding factor in why they pick it up. And if I'm not there to give them a recommendation, chances are greater than 50 percent that they're going to take it. But they still want to know what's in the bottle is good."
Commissioning artists to create images for their labels has been a popular design strategy of larger vineyards on the
"That strategy is well accepted in terms of a wine label design that would imply a higher-end wine or premium quality," said
Many area wineries dabbled in the past with labels featuring the work of fine artists and some still use the labels on a handful of their wines. But most, like
"Probably the main reason is for the consistency of our label," said
Consumer connection to labels is even more important for wine sold in regional shops than it is for wine sold in restaurants, Harvey said.
"You've got a wall of wine so you have to have a label that will stand out and be noticed but it has to be consistent," he said. "A lot of the artists who are being used for local labels will change year to year and It's very difficult to build brand and recognition when you're changing labels all the time."
Chateau Chantal worked in conjunction with Artcenter Traverse City to obtain fine art work for 2006 and 2008 "special label wines," both semi-dry Rieslings sold partially as fundraisers for the art center.
Since then the winery has not worked with fine artists, though it sponsored label design contests for graphic design students at TBAISD Career-Tech Center and keeps spindles of left-over labels in its tasting room for collectors.
"They have to work with photographers and printers, which is kind of expensive, then put the labels on," said Gates, of
Besides established, nationally-known artists like Gates and painter
Artcenter Traverse City has more than 300 members and many of them could benefit from the kind of exposure a wine label could give them, said board president
"I wish it were a more developed idea because it's a good one," he said.
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