Don’t Judge a Wine by its Label

The phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is something I try to live by everyday… unless we are talking about a bottle of wine. As a member of ABC’s wine buying team I am very cognizant of what an important role a label can have in a consumer’s decision to purchase a bottle of wine. We routinely turn down many wines simply because we don’t feel the packaging will attract enough consumers to make a purchase.

Graphic design experts are keenly aware of this fact as well. They are constantly tweaking wine labels to make it easier for consumers to identify with a wine. Often times these talented artists and designers do a great job which is often overlooked… and then sometimes you wonder, what the heck were they thinking?   

Petra Winery.jpgThe Petra winery located on the Tuscan coast is one of the most spectacular properties I have ever visited. It is situated in a breathtaking area immersed in Greek, Etruscan and Roman culture. The winery has been producing highly rated, world class wines since its inception in the late 1990s. The labels of the Petra wines always reflected a symbolism of the land, sky and the people who produced these wines. And just my personal opinion, I think our guests like the labels.

This year the experts at Petra decided the labels needed a major overhaul. The winery was recently recognized as one of the most beautiful wineries in Italy and they are now firmly established as one of the leaders in the area. For these reasons they thought the focus of the label should be on the “Chateau” and not some abstract symbolism. After all if nothing changes Petra will be producing wines at this stunning facility for many years to come. What I don’t understand is why would you change the name as well as the label?

IMG_3672.JPGThe wine formally known as Ebo is now Hebo with a new label which is more conventional and showcases the winery. I’m told that Ebo was in fact the name of an Etruscan settlement. There is very little written Etruscan language but after further study it was determined that Ebo was in fact Hebo.

For anyone who has been purchasing and enjoying Ebo over the past few years I can assure you that Hebo is the exact same wine. Of course vintages change but the 2013 Petra Hebo is still a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese. Hebo is a powerful wine with aromas of black cherry, grilled herbs and tobacco. Ebo, I mean Hebo, is still as it always has been a terrific value.

Paul Quaglini, Wine & Spirits Sales Manager
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinepaulq

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