We tend to give our wines really stupid names. That is my department, by the way, the “Really Stupid Name” department. It is one of the things that I like best, actually…coming up with stupid names for the wines. To me, it allows us to demonstrate outwardly what we already know to be true…the wine we make is different and special and unique to us. You can find Chardonnay anywhere…but there is only one place to find The White Bottle. Often, our names tend to have musical references, mostly because I am an aging musician and, as Chair of the Stupid Name Department, that is where my brain naturally goes.
The White Bottle is named after the Beatles’ “White Album”. The White Album package was their departure from the psychedelia of “Sgt. Pepper” and “Magical Mystery Tour” and reflects just a little well-deserved cockiness that they could market an album in just a plain white wrapper. I thought that was really cool and, weirdly, a plain white label on a wine bottle really stands out! Our early versions of the label are actual takes on the album cover itself…a white square with the name in the bottom right corner at the same cock-eyed angle as the stamp of the name “The Beatles” on the original album. (Yes, it is crooked on the album and yes, we measured the angle to get it right.) However, as the wine in The White Bottle improved, we felt it needed a more serious label – while still keeping the whimsical (i.e. stupid…) name. The new version was still mostly white, but with a little sophistication…the name was still an inside joke but just a more subtle inside joke.
Then came the rebranding of 2018 and our partnership with our wonderful Artist in Residence, Carolyn Mortimer. She had already created some amazing original works of art for some our more colorful labels…like Gaia, Solé, Give Peach a Chance. Now the challenge was to do create a label which, like its namesake, would be a departure from the colorful labels of the other wines. Carolyn set to work and created some amazing works of art (some of which will make their way on to the walls of the Enoteca someday soon…). But we all agreed that each, though amazingly creative, failed to fully capture the spirit of our White Bottle. After several weeks of working on it, Jules and I were sitting in the kitchen having a glass of White Bottle still puzzling over the problem and it suddenly hit me. Immediately I texted Carolyn one of those simple pen and ink drawings that John Lennon used to do…like the self-portrait and the one of him cuddled up with Yoko. Carolyn was inspired and stayed up all night creating over 20 paintings in the style of Japanese Sumi-e art, which is a plain white canvas with a wide brush and swirls of black paint. She called us first thing the next morning and we ran to see them. They were exquisite…evocative and sensual, subtle and striking all at the same time. We chose our favorite three paintings and they became the artwork for The White Bottle 2018.