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Barra Barra
February 5, 2024 | Barra Barra

San Francisco Chronicle Honors Barra Label Design

Wine Business Monthly

The label award winning wine: Barra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, CA, February 2024 --- Barra of Mendocino’s 2021 Barra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has received the Best of Class award in the “Minimalist” packaging category in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.  The “Minimalist” category represents labels with a simple design focused on the logo/brand name.

A separate contest, the Packaging Design Contest is a part of one of the world's most respected and highly publicized wine competitions and focuses solely on several categories of wine packaging and design.

“A critical element of any wine brand is good design,” said Paul Tincknell, coordinating judge and wine marketing and packaging professional. “The visual and physical message that the wine sends to the consumer before it is even tasted is as critical to the success of a wine as the quality of the wine inside the package—be it a bottle, can or box,” he adds. For more than a decade, The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition has been recognizing the most innovative and creative label and packaging design.”

When the Barra family began the redesign process over a year ago, they were faced with the challenge of trying to create a more contemporary design while at the same time, paying homage to the family’s 70+ year history of grape growing and their dedication to organic farming. “Somewhere I read a Coco Chanel quote that said, ‘Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance,’ “ said Shelley Maly, Barra of Mendocino’s Director of Sales & Marketing (and Martha Barra’s daughter). “Our brand consultant/designer Karen Adair, at dG Creative Branding, drew upon her 40+ years of experience to deliver what we believe to be exactly that in the new Barra label,” she adds.

In addition to the packaging award, Barra of Mendocino also received a number of awards for its Barra and Girasole Vineyards wines, including:

Best of Class (Packaging & Design), 2021 Barra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $28)

Double Gold, 2021 Barra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $28)

Gold, 2022 Barra Reserve Pinot Noir (SRP $26)

Gold, 2021 Barra Reserve Petite Sirah (SRP $28)

Gold, 2022 Girasole Vineyards Pinot Blanc (SRP $16)

Gold, 2021 Girasole Vineyards, Charlie’s Blend (SRP $18)

Silver, 2022 Barra Reserve Chardonnay (SRP $24)

The packaging award recognized a new package design for the Barra brand’s tier of CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) reserve wines, introduced in January 2023. In honor of the historic oak tree found on its home ranch, Redwood Valley Vineyards, the Barra label was elegantly re-imagined with embossed and foiled oak and grape leaves entwined on a black background. Designed by dG Creative Branding, the new package also eliminates the metal capsule, an acknowledgement of the family winery’s long-standing position on environmental stewardship. As with previous bottlings, they will continue to use the 100% fully recyclable Nomacorc line of wine closures made from plant-based biopolymers derived from sugar cane.

“A powerful icon in our vineyards, the oak tree represents wisdom and knowledge, strength and endurance, stability and honesty,” explains Martha Barra, winery owner and co-founder. “These are the same traits that make us a legend in organic winegrowing and provide the foundation for crafting exceptional wines year after year,” she adds.

About Barra of Mendocino

The Barra family farms 9 varietals on their 350 acres of estate organic vineyards in Mendocino County (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah). Proprietor Martha Barra explains how they came to farm organically: “the first thing my late husband Charlie Barra did to farm organically was to tell his best friend, a vineyard chemical salesman, to ‘not come in my vineyard anymore.’ The salesman would come into Charlie’s vineyards, see some deficiency, and then relate a horror story of a neighbor down the road who had lost 50% of their crop because they didn’t spray with a certain fungicide. Charlie’s reasoning was: ‘My grandfather and father didn’t use pesticides or herbicides or commercial fertilizers, so why should I?’”

The original 175-acre parcel purchased in 1955, Redwood Valley Vineyards, was certified organic in 1989. After selling their grapes for many years, the Barras began making their own wine in 1997 under the BARRA of Mendocino label and added the Girasole Vineyards line in 2003.

Barra of Mendocino offers both indoor and outdoor tastings at their tasting room, located at 7051 North State Street in Redwood Valley. No reservations are required. For more details regarding tastings and special events, guests can call 707/ 485-0322 or email Set on 50 acres of certified organic vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, the sprawling 5,000 square foot tasting room offers 40-foot ceilings, a circular tasting bar, indoor fountain and extensive gardens. Dating back to the 1970s, this architectural phenomenon also serves as an anchor venue for many Mendocino County weddings, corporate and non-profit community events.

About dG Creative Branding

“40 years as a graphic designer working with a diverse range of clients has given me a deep understanding of branding, visuals, and messaging. It has honed the skills it takes to visually tell my clients' stories in a way that expresses what’s unique about them and connects with their audience,” explains Karen Adair, dG Creative Branding.  dG Creative Branding is based in Grants Pass, Oregon.

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