The Fine Art Of Wine Labels


To view and behold good art, you don’t have to limit yourself by only visiting a museum. There are a lot to be discovered at your wine shop in your area or even in your wine cabinets or cellar. If you look closely, you will get to appreciate the fine art on wine labels from all over the world.

The finishing flair of elegance on a bottle of wine is the fine art of the label of the wine. These wine labels communicate the story of the wine. It is a marker to distinguish it, peaks personal delight for the peculiar winemaker, welcomes proliferation for an artist or designer, and gives the conversation piece in an underground cellar.

Label requisites have become very austere and are greatly differentiated by region; nonetheless it is deemed by general that the magnificence of the wine label mirrors the exquisiteness of the wine itself. Presentation after all is just about everything for both the consumer and collector.

Wine Labels, How Did It Start?

While wine is said to have begun in ancient Greece, it was the earliest Egyptians who first documented the details on labels that are currently yet necessitated by law, this includes the growing region, winegrower or vineyard, and winemaker. This dates back to 1352 BC when King Tut of Egypt was buried with jars and bottles of wine with meticulous etchings. These jars were discovered and unearthed in 1922 by Howard Carter, an archeologist.

Various ancient wine label designs were merely small distinguishing pieces of parchment paper secured with twine around the bottle neck. Soon after identifiers incorporated carvings at the bottom of the pewter stand depicting the region of the wine. Portrayals of life were illustrated with imagery in the 18th century, similar to the great paintings of history.

Innovative Pioneers: Mouton-Rothschild

 One of the most pursued after, cherished, collected, and plentiful brand of wine throughout time is the Mouton Rothschild. The established tradition of

the superiority of the wine was exceeded and topped only by the initial marketing systems used to the brand by the predecessor of the founder Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who is also his and great-grandson.

In the 1920s, promoting wines with fine-looking labels or brands was one of numerous determined efforts by Philippe de Rothschild to push and streamline his winery. Philippe recruited notable artists during that time to come up with unique and genuine designs to heighten the marketing capacity of the wines. This turned into a perpetual tradition of the winery in 1946, but was only interrupted a few times for special and exclusive commemorations.

Balthus Klossowski de Rola, a French painter, in 1993 was contracted to tender an original art for the wine label – a layout and design of his choosing. He came up with a line drawing of a stark-naked woman. His art was vetoed for circulation in the United States, so Philippe circulated the vintage with an empty label to honor the work of Balthus. It was significant rebuff to conservative importing laws of the US, and an instantaneous importance and value driver to wine collectors.


Now that you how wine labels started, watch the video below to learn how to read wine labels.


Here are some other examples of fine art on wine labels from around the world.


page4image14026160Britto bottle by Bodegas Norton

Bodegas Norton Barrel Select Malbec, Mendoza Argentina. Brazilian- born artist Romero Britto celebrates warmth, optimism, passion and love via two pop-art wine glasses emblazoned on the label. Britto hosted a launch party for the two Norton wines bearing his artwork recently at his art gallery in Miami.


Some Young Punks’ Passion has Red Lip

Some Young Punks Passion Has Red Lips, Australia. This label is a modified version of the cover of Sin on Wheels, a classic pulp-fiction novel. It represents part of the winery’s Pulp Series, whose labels feature trashy book covers. Also, its T’n’T series carries images from classic adventure comics, and the Rare Series portrays artistic renditions of women with wild beasts.


page6image14052320Leeuwin Estate Art Series 

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz 2013, Australia. This deep-colored abstract by aboriginal artist Jimmy Nerrimah is entitled Wurrurrpirri and Kakiny. Leeuwin’s art series of wines feature reproductions of paintings by well- known Australian artists. Many of the original works, like this one, hang in the estate’s art gallery.


Gut Oggau

Gut Oggau, Burgenland, Austria. Owners Eduard & Stephanie Tscheppe- Eselböck commissioned Jung von Mat to draw the faces of family members for the labels of its 10 wines. New drawings are created for each vintage, which reflect the life history of each person depicted. The wines currently feature three generations, which includes the founders, their children, spouses and grandchildren.


Viu Manent Secreto

Viu Manent Secreto, Chile. Viu Manent commissioned Chilean artist Catalina Abbot to design these whimsical labels. Abbott has applied her style, often described as a mashup of Basquiat and Picasso, to the seven “Secreto” wines produced by Viu Manent. Each image is meant to impart the idea of something that is hidden.


Weingut Klaus Zimmerling

Weingut Klaus Zimmerling, Saxony, Germany. Winemaker Klaus Zimmerling’s wife, Malgorzata Chodahowska, creates sculptures that are photographed for each vintage’s label. This 2012 bottlings features a sculpture called Nora, which like Chodahowska’s other works, is carved from a single oak trunk. She also designs fountains that are carved from wood and cast in bronze.