Art labels designed to shake up wine industry

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Wine

A Californian wine producer is to package its products with labels
designed by a contemporary artist as part of its strategy to change
how the US wine industry operates.

US-based Knightsbridge Fine Wines​ has signed a licensing agreement to access certain works by internationally acclaimed pop artist Romero Britto. The firm plans to develop a portfolio of wines bearing Britto's colourful images on its labels and promotional merchandise.

"Romero Britto consistently works to reinterpret the meaning of art and its role in contemporary life,"​ said Joel Shapiro, Knightsbridge chairman and CEO.

"We look forward to working with him to craft a truly unique wine experience for today's art and wine lovers."

Britto's imagery was first commissioned in 1989 for Absolut Vodka's Art Campaign. Subsequent commissions have included Pepsi Cola.

Knightsbridge's Britto line continues the company's Artist Series of Fine Wines, begun under similar licensing agreements with Guy Buffet and Andy Warhol. By creating new brands linked to internationally known artists, Knightsbridge hopes to maximise brand name recognition at minimal marketing cost.

The innovative packaging concept is part of the company's plan to revolutionise how companies operate within the wine industry. Knightsbridge believes that through careful marketing and brand presentation, the firm can capitalise on a current oversupply in the small and mid-sized winery industry.

Knightsbridge believes that too many firms lack effective sales, marketing and branding strength. This has created an opportunity for the firm to consolidate and build an efficient operation that can maximise economies of scale and provide a more streamlined and effective sales, marketing and distribution group.

By adopting and applying consumer beverage marketing principles within the wine industry, management believes that it can further enhance operating results beyond what is currently achieved by many small and mid-sized wineries creating a competitive advantage for Knightsbridge.

Knightsbridge has, to date, acquired Bodegas Anguinan Estate Winery and a majority ownership interest in Dominion Wines International, an Australian company that owns several international brands and markets the wines globally. Knightsbridge says that it is currently negotiating purchase and/or partnership agreements with several other wine companies.

The company's joint venture subsidiary owns 50 per cent of the Kirkland Ranch Winery, which is located in the heart of Napa Valley and is one of the largest contiguous properties in Napa Valley, California. More than one million cases of wine per year can be produced in the 56,000-square-foot facility.

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