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2013 SFCWC Label Contest

By Michael Haran

Once again we had a wonderful participation in our 3rd annual label contest. We included four Best-of-Class categories as well as a Sweepstakes winner.

The 2013 SFCWC Label Contest Sweepstakes Winner
Series: Mutt Lynch Winery  Man's Best Friend Series
Mutt Lynch Winery’s label Series “Man’s Best Friend”


This year’s Sweepstakes winner is from Mutt Lynch winery in Healdsburg, Ca. The Designer for the series is Rae Huestis of Rae Huestis Design, Walnut Creek CA. Rae has been designing labels for Mutt Lynch since the winery’s inception.

The objective was to create labels that would better connote the strong emotional connection between people and their dogs. “mbf” (Man’s Best Friend) is a limited production, vineyard designate series of wine. In introducing this new line, we wanted to differentiate it from our other products (that have more whimsical labels) by taking a more serious approach with the imagery.

The B/W photography that was used is powerful and compelling and definitely helps to set that more serious tone and price perception. Each image was carefully selected to tell a story. The 2009 “mbf” Primitivo— is the pure joy of dogs riding in cars. Mutt Lynch gets it! The 2008 “mbf” Petite Sirah—the importance of pets as companions for children. Can there be any more powerful connection? The 2008 “mbf” Vineyard Zinfandel—the straight on close-up of this dog’s face is so powerful and soulful. Mutt Lynch understands the depths of connection with our dogs.

Consumer and trade reaction to the labels (and the wine) has been overwhelmingly positive. Based on this reaction, we now feature “mbf” imagery in most of our marketing. It’s a good problem to have but the labels are almost too good! In the tasting room and at various events we go to, we sometimes have to give people a moment to take in and react to labels before we can get them refocused on the great wine that’s in the bottle! We’re not complaining! - Deborah J. Halbert.

2013 SFCWC Label Contest BOC winners


Classical: Tin Barn Vineyards 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

The Best-of-Class Classical label was won by:
Tin Barn Vineyards – Russian River – Gilsson Vineyards– 2010 Zinfandel

The finalists included:
Kunde Family Estates – Century Vines – 2010 Zinfandel;
Krill Family Vineyards – Pellet Estate – 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon;
Longboard Vineyards -2009 Syrah; and
Anemoi Wines -2011


Artistic: Trentadue Winery 2007 Angelica

The Best-of-Class Artistic Category was won by:
Trentadue Winery – Angelica - 2007 Sweet Wine

The finalists Included:
Purple Wine Company – Cryptic – 2010 Red Blend
Red Caboose Winery – Range Rider – Temparnillo
Deerfield Ranch Winery – Sonoma Valley Estates – 2011 Rose
McGah Family Cellars – Scarlett – 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon


Whimsical: Wargin Wines 2010 Whimsical Big & Beautiful

The Best-of-Class Whimsical label was won by:
Wargin Wines – Big & Beautiful – 2010 California Red

The finalists include:
Frogtown Cellars – Tannant – 2008 Red
Hill Wine Company – Little Rascals – 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
Villa Bellangelo – Pink Scooter – Sweet Rosato
Ripken Vineyards & Winery – Under the Sea – 2008 Malbec


Series: Mutt Lynch Winery  Man's Best Friend Series

The Best-of-Class Series label was won by:
Mutt Lynch Winery – “mbf” Series

The finalists include:
Solle Wines
Engelmann Cellars
Lido Bay Winery
Cazadero Winery

Merit Award

Merit: Masquerade Wine Company for their

This year a special merit award was presented to Masquerade Wine Company for their “Effervescing Elephant II” label. This label was drawn by Noppakhao, a male Asian elephant born in 2002 and who lives and paints at Ayutthaya Elephant Palace & Royal Kraal, just north of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Effervescing Elephant Columbia Valley Sparkling Wine Artist Series is a collaboration with the Asian Art & Conservation Project. The AEACP mission is to fund efforts to promote elephant recue and habitat restoration in Southeast Asian Countries.

This year’s judges included Elizabeth Slater of “In Short Marketing;” Dave Miller of “PackagingArts” a wine label and marketing materials printing company; Michele Anna Jordan a renowned food columnist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat; Paul and Jennifer Tincknell of Tincknell & Tincknell wine marketers.

Scott Fraser, Jennifer Tincknell, Michael Haran, Michele Anna Jordan, David Miller, Elizabeth Slater Paul Tincknell and Bob Fraser
Scott Fraser, Jennifer Tincknell, Michael Haran, Michele Anna Jordan, David Miller, Elizabeth Slater Paul Tincknell and Bob Fraser

We would like to thank all of the wineries that entered this year’s label contest. Some marvelous labels were entered. We would also like to congratulate this year’s winners. Good job all the way around.

In 2014 we will be expanding our categories to include a “Painted/Etched Bottle” category and a “BLOCK” category. In addition we will also be including a special merit award category for any unique or original wine packaging. Look for details in the 2014 application booklet.

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