ART: Battle of the bottle labels to stand out

Thursday August 8 2019

The black-maned Cape lion label for the special reserve Cabernet Sauvignon at the Durbanville Hills winery in Cape Town, South Africa.

The black-maned Cape lion label for the special reserve Cabernet Sauvignon at the Durbanville Hills winery in Cape Town, South Africa. PHOTO | SUSAN MUUMBI 

SUSAN MUUMBI
By SUSAN MUUMBI
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With wine gaining popularity all over the world, how do you get your bottle to stand out on the shelf?

Some wineries have unique bottle shapes and others rely on the label to be noticed.

Some are colourful with catchy names, or simple and easy to pick out from the masses.

At the quaint Kirabo family cellar and brewery in Breederkloof, South Africa, the label on their Cupcake blend of Merlot and Shiraz is a simple line drawing of the backside of a young elephant.

Once you see it, you’ll never forget it.

At Rascallion wines in Stellenbosch, South Africa, the labels are louder, seeking to create a strong brand.

Their 33 1/3 RPM wine label resembles a vinyl record.

The letters on the label of their Aquiver brand look like they are vibrating. These wines are available in East Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.

And at the Durbanville Hills winery in Cape Town, South African artist Theo Vorster created unique prints for their special edition wines.

The images are based on scenery relating to the area where the vineyard is located, just nine kilometres from the ocean, and prominent Cape Town landmarks.

Vorster makes linoleum cut prints, and uses black paint for the outlines. After making 10 prints, he paints in the original with colour, so that that it cannot be used again.

The result is beautifully crafted labels, with the Durbanville Hills logo on one side of the bottle and the painted print on the other.

For example, the Castle of Good Hope, built in the late 17th century and the now-extinct black maned Cape lion represent Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of the red varietals.

The Pinotage label is of penguins strolling along the popular promenade at Sea Point. It is said that a good pinotage likes to see the ocean.

Vorster also painted Table Mountain in the background in this label, giving it a true local feel.

The Chardonnay, said to elicit various tastes, wears a print of the cable car on Table Mountain that goes up and down, much like the wine.

And the lighthouse Merlot wears the cherry red and white candy-striped lighthouse in Green Point with its foghorn.

The Merlot displays notes of mint and red cherry. When looking for a great wine, the labels make them really easy to spot.