4 Things Wineries Should Know About Wine Labeling [Download Guide]

4 Things Wineries Should Know About Wine Labeling [Download Guide]

Now more than ever, your wine bottle labels need to communicate quality.

It may come as no surprise that forecasts for the wine industry in the roaring 2020s continue to look bright. However, the consumer focus is expected to shift slightly to a preference of quality over quantity, meaning brand identity and packaging will be major drivers of success.

To capture your customer’s attention and ongoing loyalty, you need to communicate high quality at a glance. What’s the best way to make that happen? First, develop a smart and unique label that intrigues wine enthusiasts and compels them to pick your wine from the shelf. Second, make sure that your wine labeling processes ensure that every single bottle displaying your brand looks flawless.

To make this happen, here are four things you’ll want to take into account.

1. Your wine bottle label DESIGN has got to be on-point

No pressure, but it’s been estimated that your wine label only has 1.5 seconds to make an impact. So, while you want your product and label to stand out, it’s also important to be aware of what looks are trending right now. It can be a balancing act to find the right design that’s unique and creative without being obtrusive and really connects with your target market while offering a wide appeal. Try to develop a design that fits the personality of your brand and tells the customer something about your wine at a glance.

Here are a few design considerations for inspiration.

Hue is huge: Consider the color of your bottle, the color of your wine, and the color of your label. What emotions do you want to convey? Bright colors evoke cheerfulness, energy, and bold flavors. Muted colors may suggest more sophistication and subtlety. Dark colors promise rich flavors and intrigue. You might even consider juxtaposing a bright label on a dark bottle for a high-contrast effect that really pops on the shelf.

Use type, artwork, and texture wisely: Your font choices and label materials absolutely matter. Is the look you’re going for minimalist, elegant, vintage, modern, or edgy? You’ll want to pick a typeface that sets the right tone, choose artwork that adds visual interest, and be sure to select a label texture that supports the overall vibe.

Dare to be different: Consider using a uniquely shaped label and/or packaging. Maybe even go the extra creative mile and tie it all together with a themed design. (This example from Honey Moon wine is firing on all cylinders, with powerful use of color, typography, art, texture, and materials.)

2. Your current WINE LABELING EQUIPMENT (or lack thereof) may be limiting your success.

A great design is only as great as its application. It’s essential that your wine label is placed correctly, consistently, and expediently. In order to make sure that you’re operating as efficiently as possible, begin by evaluating your current setup to identify holes, downtime, or glitches in your existing production line. Here are some things to consider. 

Production goals: What are your wine labeling and production goals? What speed is required to meet these goals? While it's critical to know the answers to these questions, also keep in mind that choosing a machine that's easy to set up and maintain will keep you on track to meet your goals and limit potential downtime.

Space and equipment parameters: Since equipment comes in various shapes and sizes, you’ll want to choose a wine labeling machine that fits your available space. As you map out your overall production line design, be sure to take into account whether any new equipment you’re considering is compatible with existing machinery. Opting for a modular setup makes it easier to add to your line as you grow (you may want to save space for helpful add-ons like a pack-out table.)

Container and label choices: Consider the size and shape of your bottles, boxes, or cans as you choose the right labeling machine. Be aware that unusual shapes or tapers will require a specific machine. The type of label (i.e., front and back, wrap-around, neck) may impact your choice as well. Some wine labeling machines are versatile enough to handle a variety of containers and labels. The key is to assess your current and future needs before you buy.

Quality matters: It may be tempting to save money by purchasing the cheapest materials, but be sure that you are getting high-quality containers — any imperfections may negatively impact label placement. Inferior quality labels can cause problems as well since they are more susceptible to tearing, poor ink quality, and other malfunctions. Do your homework to avoid frustrating surprises. For instance, paper versus synthetic labels may yield different results, so find out which is best for your purposes and equipment. It’s usually a safer bet to choose containers and labels based on trusted brand names for more reliable results.

3. RESEARCH your options before investing in a new wine labeling machine

Once you’ve evaluated your setup and determined your current and future needs, you should be able to zero in on the right equipment to help meet those goals. Investing in the best bottle labeling machine for your wine labeling operation can pay for itself by increasing efficiency and productivity.

There are three primary wine labeling machine options for you to consider. A manual machine is the slowest method, requiring you to load and hand-apply each wine label individually. The next step up is a semi-automatic machine that is push-button operated. The fastest and most consistent option is an automatic wine labeling machine that’s able to place 150-500 labels per minute precisely. From there, you can add pack-out tables for the ultimate pro setup.

When trying to decide which of these wine labeling machines to purchase, you’ll want to keep the following factors in mind.

Speed: Many businesses begin with manual wine labeling, but find efficiency to be lacking. The addition of a semi-automatic labeling machine can increase productivity by almost 500%, allowing for up to 2,400 bottles per hour. Fully automatic machines can increase output to 9,000 bottles per hour.

Public perception: Automated wine labeling technology protects your brand image with clean, well-placed labels that speak to your product’s overall quality. The best wine labeling equipment includes stabilizers to ensure even, consistent placement, and thorough adhesion to reduce the chance of unsightly peeling or tearing.

Overall value: While the upfront costs of wine labeling machines may seem daunting, it’s important to evaluate all of the cost factors involved. A one-time equipment purchase will be cheaper in the long run than ongoing labor costs to apply labels to your wine bottles by hand. You’ll also see a reduction in wasted materials and products due to less human error.

The Winemaker’s Guide to Wine Labeling Equipment

4. Ask someone with EXPERIENCE for guidance

In the same way that you would turn to an expert to design your wine label, you’ll want to look for an experienced company to help with your equipment needs. Choosing the right wine labeling machine and knowing when to upgrade can have a positive impact on your overall operation. From purchasing decisions to training to repair, choosing a company that’s knowledgeable, responsive, and helpful can make all the difference.

When looking for a trustworthy partner, keep these thoughts in mind.

  • Make sure they answer questions or concerns and demonstrate their ability to assist with problems.
  • Get recommendations from within the wine community.
  • Consider timeliness of responses, whether or not they stand behind their products, and how the ongoing support structure works.
  • Find out if any parts are known to wear out and what the wait time is for replacements.
  • Ask about quality-control procedures for parts, repairs, and new machines.
  • Verify that used and refurbished machinery and components are thoroughly inspected and tested.

The effective use of automated wine labeling technology offers huge improvements in productivity and output for your wine operation — but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Finding the right wine labeling machine to meet your winery’s needs while not spending too much on features you won’t use is the key to optimizing your operation.

Pack Leader USA is here to help you find the best solutions for bottling wine and wine labeling. Our easy-to-use, cost-friendly machines are always backed by a commitment to quality and dedication to customer satisfaction.

To learn more about bottle labeling options and best practices for the wine industry, download our free guide today.

Download the Wine Industry’s Guide to Labeling Equipment