Among all the bottles arranged on the shelves waiting to capture the consumer’s attention, nowadays it is getting more and more common to find labels provoking not only our artistic sense, but also our sixth sense, which seems to be waking up in this period of the year.

Many wine producers are using sinister, dark and even gloomy scenarios on their bottles not only to be coherent with the typical ghostly autumn atmosphere but also to tell a story – real or unreal – about their vineyards.

Some companies are now focusing on the creation of labels which seem to be hand drawn (and sometimes they really are), trying in this way to give the idea of a homemade product. This is a great tactic to stimulate people’s interest and attract them to the shelves, assuring producers a competitive advantage in terms of differentiation.

Enough with the talk now! Here are some labels to keep in mind this Halloween:

Columbia Valley, Washington
Designer: Mark Conachan

Sinister Hand Columbia Valley, Washington Designer: Mark Conachan

The legend tells that in the XVII century during a sea battle between two Irish families for the dominion over a land, one of the men cut off his hand and threw it on the coast to be the first one to reach the land, getting in this way the right to claim it. The trick worked: nowadays that land is still property of the same family.

Paso Robles, Napa Valley, Chalk Hill
Homemade projectreaper

Despite how much macabre it might appear, the sketch of the reaper reflects “the cyclical and interconnected nature of everything”, Ari Walker explains, president of Integrated Beverage Group.

Sonoma County
Homemade projectbesieged-halloween-wine

The disturbing sky on the label narrates the fascinating event of a wine producer, Joel Peterson. When a thunderstorm was getting closer, Mr Peterson hurried up to move some crates full of grapes before the arrival of the storm. “Considering the clouds and the dust, it seemed to be a futile attempt”. In that precise moment, two ravens flew over the vineyard and started to caw. “It was unreal and really odd”, he admitted. “It rained all around me but not on me, and the two ravens followed me all the time. It was a magic and mysterious experience”.

Central Valley blend
Designer: Tony Austin

Phantom (Bogle)

Chris Catterton, of Bogle vineyard, remembers a decade during which workers regularly heard steps on the boardwalks or noticed work-boots footprints inside the building. When they had to choose the name for their new wine, they decided to get inspired by the unknown spirit haunting the wine cellar. However, they rejected the idea of drawing a ghost – a theme already very popular – because as Mr Catterton pointed out “We wanted to create a feeling of anxiety through a more stimulating visual image”.

Paso Robles
Designer: Joseph Kalionzes

Chronic Cellars.jpg

Two brothers, Jake and Josh Beckett, were looking for an image which was funny, unusual and somehow irreverent, which would have attracted consumers to their red wine. The designer proposed the Day of the Dead and grooved by hand every wooden panel which then Jake himself coloured. “We have a peculiar brand, and my brother is a peculiar wine producer”, Jake admitted.

Mendocino Ridge
Designer: Amy Alden-Rinaldi


The owners Leslie Sisneros and Steve Alden created this label not only to leverage the disquieting story of a homicide (dating back to 1911) that took place in their property, but also to reflect their personal artistic interest gravitating around melancholy. “We are intrigued by disturbing things and we wanted to combine them all. We liked the idea to use ravens because they are warning signs constantly surrounded by an air of mystery”.



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