I find wine label design so fun and fascinating. It’s one of my favorite pieces of the big wide world of wine puzzle. I’ve been a fan of Veronica Corzo-Duchardt
‘s modern California wine label designs for a few years. I didn’t know who was behind the labels I looked at on a weekly basis, until I was randomly introduced to Veronica at a music festival in Chicago this summer. And the world continues to get smaller! Read on to learn more about her design process, inspiration and her favorite wines to drink.
When did you start designing wine labels? Was it a natural progression and extension of your design work, or did you always have a focus on wine?
I started designing wine labels in 2009. I had always been interested in wine, and it reminded me a lot of designing for music which is where I got my start as a designer. I love this idea of translating a creative process, like music and winemaking to a visual form. While in grad school, I began working at a small wine shop here in Chicago to gain more experience. There I was able to meet a lot of winemakers and distributors, which eventually lead to designing my first label, after starting my design studio.
Describe the process for designing a label. Do you get to taste the wine and let that influence your choices?
My first step is to talk with the winemaker and have them describe the story of the wine. I try to dig as deep as I can to get information about their process, the idea for the wine and the vineyard. I usually get to taste at least a barrel sample before starting my design. A lot of times taste will influence the mood of a label. Factors like bright, dark flavors and the weight of the wine come into play of me. I also try to visit the vineyard if I can to get a sense of the place the wine came from. My ultimate goal in designing a label is to try to evoke an overall feeling of the wine.
If you could describe your design style in one sentence what would it be?
My labels are contemporary, story-driven and expressive.
You design for mainly domestic wines. Ever tried your hand at an import? If not, what region or country’s wine would you most want to have some fun with?
I have not tried my hand at an import but I would LOVE to! I’d love to get my hand on some wines from Spain. Especially in the Basque region, there is so much history there I’d love to play with. I’m a bit biased since my whole family is Cuban, by way of Spain so I’d really love dig into a lot of the cultural history of winemaking there. Plus being fluent in the language doesn’t hurt.
What is your biggest pet peeve with wine label design?
I really hate cutesy stuff or puns! I wish that would all die out but there is a market for it.
What is your go-to wine/wine style, something you always like to order or pour for yourself at home?
I love really dry Rieslings, so I drink as much of Tatomer as I can. For reds I tend to lean towards Rhone varietals or an unfiltered Pinot Noir. And bubbles, I love bubbles. Give me Champagne any day, any time. Seriously, I’ll send you my address.
Photos courtesy Winterbureau