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Wine has long been associated with prestige and good, luxurious times and this could not be more true then when it comes to Champagne. Champagne is a symbol of celebration with the best Champagnes often reserved for special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, birthday’s, great achievements, grand openings, the list goes on. Champagnes epitome luxury, often seen enjoyed on yachts cruising the Amalfi coast, at exclusive A lister events or alongside other luxury brands. Since the 1950s the demand for Champagne has quadrupled but Champagnes history has not been without some setback and its success today is built upon a long history. French vineyards date back to Roman times and whilst the Champenois were originally envious of their Burgundian neighbours in the South who with warmer climates were producing richer, fuller, red wines, by 1715 sparkling wines had won favour amongst English and French royals spreading through to the nobility. The Champagne region which until then had mostly been known for pale Pinot Noir's, identified this opportunity and began developing methods for controlling bubbly wines, which included the need to design superior bottles that could withstand the pressures. From 1772 Veuve Clicquot were instrumental in the development of the méthode champenoise, which allowed greater control and improved quality, opening the doors for Champagne to be produced in much higher quantities and eventually exported all around the world. So it was from these origins, a wine fit for royals that Champagne maintains it’s reputation as the drink of luxury. Whilst the region of Champagne protects it’s naming rights, Sparkling wines are now produced all over the world. Provenance continues to play a strong role in people’s estimations of a Sparkling but with more options than ever, every aspect to a Sparkling’s experience becomes more critical. The presentation of Champagne’s and Sparkling Wines, symbols of luxury becomes more critical compared to any other variety or type of wine. Champagne’s will often be accompanied by a box, elevating the experience and catering for special events and gifts. Champagne labels will almost always lean towards prestige with symmetrical labels rich in embellishments and filigree. Metallic Foils will often be prominent as are crests and heraldry, a winemakers signature, the date of establishment, essentially any cue that can built a picture in people’s estimations, the rich history and provenance in which the Champagne belongs. Whilst typically traditional in their design approach, a common strategy to establish personality, iconism and a strong shelf presence is to select a unique colour and use consistently and throughout marketing collateral. New World sparkling’s, lacking the provenance of Champagne’s either have the option to adopt similar aspects, alluding to a rich history or can carve a new path with a more modern interpretation, free of the history and tradition, to create something new. In recent times, full wraps have become quite popular, an unabashed symbol of modernity and whilst these designs still try to maintain a sense of luxury and prestige they are without doubt more colourful, more playful and more approachable. Following is a journey through some of our favourite Champagne Labels from around the world, we hope you enjoy the journey!

Wine Labels

Veuve Clicquot, Reims, France, Designer: Various over decades and centuries

Veuve Clicquot, as I mentioned in the introduction has a rich and pivotal history in the Champagne sector, dating back to 1772. Their labels, as one might imagine from almost 250 years of operation have changed quite a lot over that time, the journey of which you can see here. Today the labels have become iconic for their bright yellow background and packaging. While the yellow gives the label and instant point of difference, this Champagne label has all of the characteristics one has come to associate with luxury wine labels, such as the symmetrical composition, a clear hierarchy, various fonts, a modest colour palette (black, brown and red on yellow), a shield icon, filigree, the founders signature, dates of provenance, the region and a neat border.

 
Best Champagne Labels

Deakin Estate Brut Label, Designer: Beetle Creative, Melbourne & Firenze

Wine Label Designs

 

Wiston Estate, Designer: Stranger and Stranger – London & NYC

Champagne’s often have a premium label with quality cues such as foils and embossing. Another popular strategy is to opt for a colour as a point of reference and to gain strong shelf presence, whilst having a fashionable edge. In the Winston Estate label the designer opted for a refreshing blue. Another famous example of this strategy is Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut with it’s vibrant orange/yellow. The embossed white elements of the Winston label allude to plastered details, the circle creates an elegant die-cut with Winston as the clear primary hierarchy.

 
Wine Labels

Sugrue Pierre, Designer: Stranger & Stranger, London & NYC

There are various strategies for creating a premium wine label, the two most common strategies are to either opt for a minimalist, refined composition or a design with elaborate detail. What I like most about the Sugrue Pierre design is that it utilises both of these strategies. It is minimalist in the sense that it utilises just black and gold, with a centrally placed logo as the champion, while by Brut standards it has a very modest, clean cut neck. Yet the label is engulfed by intricate detail that is given just a gloss varnish high build do seperate it from its background. The result is that the wine label design achieves all of the premium cues associated with intricate detail but does so in a modest, understated, confident sense. By being understated, it does not call out for attention and this self-assuredness, that suggests ‘take me or not, I’m happy either way’ makes it ever more appealing.