Delight and Inspire: Program Attendees Choose Top Wine Packages

Earlier this month, UC Davis Executive Education at the Graduate School of Management brought together over 80 participants for our inaugural Wine Packaging Strategy: Decide, Design, Impress program. To bring an interactive element to the program, we asked participants to bring wine products that “spoke to them” through packaging. Over 40 products were entered in our contest, representing a huge cross-section of wines and packages. The winners were chosen the old fashioned way, with each program attendee (participants and speakers alike) getting a vote. Now we’d like to share the results with you. Which packages would get your vote? 

Wine: The Collector’s Pinot Noir 2012 Sta. Rita Hills
Price Point: $110.00

Description: The Collector’s Pinot Noir is a traditional Pinot from an estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. It is presented in a hand-blown glass bottle with a hand-made paper label printed on a manual letterpress. The cork is sealed with estate-harvested bees wax. This package is art incarnate, and we’re told the wine inside is as lovely as the package. 

Wine: Bolle di Lambrusco To You Bianco – Cantina Ceci
Price Point: $19.00

Description: A wine bottle blackboard…who would have guessed it possible! This lambrusco is not only a great tasting sparkling wine, but is also lets you decorate the bottle to suit any occasion! It even comes with the chalk and eraser already attached.

Wine: California Square Red Paso
Price Point: $15.00

Description: This bottle is not only more space efficient than standard round bottles, it looks totally cool! The elegantly etched square bottle begs for re-use and display, and is easy to find on a shelf full of other wine choices. Walk into a store and say, “Direct me to the square one, Sir!” There won’t be any confusion over which you’re looking to purchase.

Wine: Moselland Zeller Schwarze Katz Riesling (Black Cat)
Price Point: $14.00

Description: According to legend, three wine merchants came to the town of Zell (in Germany) to buy wine. They narrowed their choice to three barrels, but they couldn’t agree on which was best. A black cat suddenly jumped on one of the barrels, arched its back and swiped its paw at anyone who tried to get close. They quickly chose the barrel so obstinately defended by the cat, thinking that it probably contained the best wine. If your bottle can tell a story, fantastic. And if it can appeal to the millions of kitty cat lovers in the wine aisle, even better!  Another bottle that begs to be reused after the wine is long gone.

Wine: Sofia Blanc de Blancs
Price Point: $18.00

Description: How do you capture the beautiful color and sparkle of Sofia Blanc de Blancs when you can’t see the wine? Easy, you make the can you put it in (yes, that’s right…we said CAN) beautifully colorful and sparkly as well. Each pink can even comes with its own straw for sipping, so you can take it anywhere and enjoy it everywhere (responsibly, of course).

Wine: Maize Valley Mad Cow
Price Point: $10.00

Description: Before making wine at Maize Valley, the family was in the dairy farming industry and owned about 130 cows. When the last of the dairy herd was sold, proceeds from the sale were invested into the current business and vineyard. To pay tribute to the history and family legacy, “Edith”, a real cow owned by the family, was pictured on the label of Mad Cow wine. Edith produced over 100,000 gallons of milk in her lifetime, so we figured she could use a drink, and this fun bottle design would certainly get any cow’s attention!

Wine: Fetzer Crimson Red Blend
Price Point: $10.00

Description: Fetzer broke new ground by presenting its crimson red blend in a 187 mL Zipz Glass, giving us all the opportunity to enjoy this wine anywhere. Never again will you need to remember your cork screw and wine glasses while packing for a camping trip. Of course, as with all innovation, not everyone loves the outcome. Some say the wine oxidizes too quickly in this package, damaging the shelf life of this otherwise tasty wine.

Wine: Director’s Cut Wine from Francis Ford Coppola
Price Point: $27.00

Description: Every bottle of Coppola’s Director’s Cut wine pays homage to the history of filmmaking with its wraparound label designed after a Zoetrope strip, one of the earliest moving picture devices. Each label is also a replica of a strip from Francis’s personal Zoetrope collection. Talk about stealing the show when it comes to a label making a bottle jump off of the shelf! Bravo; Encore!

Wine: Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad
Price Point: $24.00

Description: Reserva Heredad is Segura Viudas’ crown jewel sparkling wine. The packaging has a distinctly old-world style, giving a nod to the winery’s medieval heritage. And talk about making a bottle of wine look fancy. Who wouldn’t want to unwrap a bottle of this bubbly at their wedding or for a graduation celebration? This wine’s package presents it as ultra high end, despite the wine’s reasonable price point.

Wine: Diamond Collection Black Label Claret from Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Price Point: $27.00

During the program, Corey Beck told the story of how this wine came to be netted. Suffice it to say, when the artist has an idea, no one wants to be the roadblock to his creativity. Instead, the team must work to make the creative idea a profitable one. They’ve succeeded here, with the gold net taking Coppola’s Claret to the #1 spot for Cabernet Sauvignon sold in the US over $15 per bottle!

Wine: Stack Wines California Chardonnay
Price Point: $12.99

Description: Sharable and chic, this wine is packaged in snap-apart “glasses”made of recyclable plastic. It’s like Legos for grown-ups, because the four individually sealed wine cups snap apart and back together again just like the blocks! Easy to transport, and safe to take just about anywhere, this is another example of giving the consumer what we want, wine you can share anywhere.

Wine: Truett-Hurst Occasion-Based Wine Series
Price Point: $12.00 – 30.00

Description: Truett-Hurst give us the perfect gift, an already gift-wrapped bottle of wine! By wrapping these bottles in vibrant, foil-like paper designed to help consumers pair wines with special occasions, one tedious step in the gift giving process is eliminated. Even better, buy the supper club wine and never had a lull in dinner conversation again, because the paper is printed with party games. 

Did you pick your winner?  If you were invited to participate in a contest like this, what product would you bring?