Biltmore wines capture the essence of spring
Written By Jean Sexton
In Our Gardens
Each year, inspired by Biltmore's gardens bursting with dazzling tulips and other spectacular blooms, our winemakers carefully handcraft a special release to celebrate the season. For 2016, this special seasonal release is a semi-sweet white with a touch of fruitiness—ideal for outdoor picnics and sipping while soaking up the sunshine.
“This wine is aromatic, with hints of peach and honesuckle,” said Jill Whitfield, Biltmore Wine Marketing Manager. “It tastes as if we'd bottled the essence of spring, and we're excited that our guests can find it in their own neighborhood grocery stores and wine shops.“
In addition to handcrafting this delicious wine, we also create a beautiful new label for the bottle. “We want the label to convey the expectation and sense of celebration inspired by our gardens and the return of warmer weather,” Jill said.
To illustrate the idea of sun-kissed gardens and rebirth, Jill works closely with Biltmore's Assistant Art Director Lisa Vogel. The two collaborate on what the label might portray, and Lisa creates a series of sketches that will evolve into the final concept.
“For the past few years, I've created variations on a theme based on the soft blooms and buds that herald the return of spring in Biltmore's gardens,” said Lisa. “I add layers of botanical texture and color for a sense of richness, and then I add a slightly whimsical note like a bee or a bird that makes the design more distinctive and light-hearted.”
This year's seasonal release label features a charming butterfly amidst a bouquet of glorious old-fashioned roses. “Jill wanted to draw the attention of our customers and reinforce the connection between Biltmore Wines, spring blossoms, and the welcome return of warmer weather,” Lisa said of her initial drawings. “So I drew roses, buds, and greenery as a backdrop, and focused on bringing out the playful little character of the butterfly once we knew where the text would be positioned on the label.”
After Jill approved the label design, Lisa worked with specialty printers to ensure that the colors and detail of the artwork would be preserved in the printing process.
“There are so many options to make the design pop out on the shelf,” said Lisa, “from papers and varnishes to metallic inks and embossed patterns—today's wine label printers can really help bring the finished product to life—and we certainly want everyone to see the bottle and think 'spring!'”
Featured images: pages from Lisa's sketchbook paired with finished wine labels; Lisa displaying a bottle of our 2016 Seasonal Release White Wine for which she designed the label