The wine industry is booming. According to Statista, in the U.S. alone, revenue from wine sales is expected to reach 181.9 billion in 2024, and the average wine volume per person is projected to be 2.5L. With numbers like that, winemakers and winery owners need innovative ways to make their brands stand out as competition continues upward.

Make your Brand Stand Out With Wine Labeling

Creative and unique wine labeling is one of the best ways to grab consumers’ attention and create a distinct brand. Today there are a variety of labeling technologies and wine labeling equipment to help make a visual impact on wine enthusiasts everywhere.

Winemaking focuses on the drinker's experience by creating complex and exciting flavors and, in some cases, using old-world recipes. It's not just exciting flavors that are growing in popularity; so are organic, sugar-free, and low-carb wines. With old and new players in the market — not to mention the growing wine subscription trend — it's even more critical for wineries to brand their wine in a way that sticks out to customers and keeps them coming back for more.

Current Labeling Trends

As the number of wineries increases, so do production trends, bottling capabilities, and labeling technologies.


The forecasts for the wine industry look bright. However, the consumer focus is expected to shift slightly to a preference for quality over quantity, meaning brand identity and wine labeling are significant success drivers.

In a recent wine-tasting survey, several wine bottles ranging from $10-150 in price were shared with participants. Here’s what was discovered:

  •   82% of respondents chose a wine bottle based on the label's appearance.
  •   65% were influenced by how expensive they thought the wine looked.
  •   58% cared about the wine region.
  •   53% were impacted by the shape and color of the bottle.
  •   46% prefer to purchase something they’ve enjoyed in the past.
  •   42% preferred a vintage wine.

According to the survey results, it’s clear that the way wine bottles look matters to consumers. Whether a great-looking label means fun and quirky or elegant and sophisticated might depend on your target market — but either way, your wine bottle should capture attention and communicate quality. That means your wine label needs the right design and must be adequately and consistently adhered to to ensure your wine bottle looks its best online and on the shelf. After all, your wine label only has 1.5 seconds to make an impact.

Crafting the Perfect Wine Label: Key Elements for Captivating Design

To capture the attention of wine shoppers, you must communicate your product’s high quality at a glance. You can do so by developing a great wine label design that intrigues wine enthusiasts and compels them to pick your wine over others. Here are some design elements to consider when choosing the best wine label:


(Photo Credit: Usual Wine & Lila Wine)

The Psychology of Color

When you choose a product, color may affect your choice more than you realize. If given a coice, you may have certain colors that draw you in more than others. The coloring on your wine label makes a difference.

Think about 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 boldness. Muted colors suggest sophistication and subtlety and 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 visually pops.

Font and Texture Make a Difference

The label vibe doesn’t end with the color scheme. The font choice and label material are as important.

Is the look you’re going for minimalist, elegant, vintage, modern, or edgy? You must pick a typeface that sets the right tone. Choose exciting artwork and select a label texture that supports your brand and your wine’s character.

Make It Unique

No one wants a boring label. Many people choose bottles according to how attractive they find the label, so you must make it stand out.

Consider using uniquely shaped wine labels and packaging. Maybe even go the extra creative mile and tie it all together with a themed design, making your bottle, label, cap, and shipping box coordinate, or if you have the financial wiggle room, commission custom wine labels.

Don’t get too wordy by adding phrases that are useless on a wine label, such as the following:

  •   Handcrafted
  •   Noble
  •   Bold
  •   Finest
  •   Award-winning
  •   Passion
  •   Dream
  •   World-class
  •   Finest

These types of words are “fluff” and often don’t have any proof or significance behind them.

After you’ve nailed the wine bottle label design, ensure your labeling process is optimized, so that every bottle has a perfectly placed label.

Types of Labeling Equipment

Which wine bottle labeling machine will allow you to make more wine in less time? Ready to “up” your wine labeling game? Investing in a bottle labeling machine that will help you ramp up production while maintaining quality may be just what you need to keep up with the stiff competition in the wine industry.

Wineries have several labeling options for both wine bottles and canned wine. In general, label applicator machines come in manual, semi-automatic, and automatic models. Knowing label application needs and goal production speed will help narrow down the choices. Let’s look closer at each option:

Manual Labeling Machines


If the budget is tight, a manual labeling machine may be the best way to start, especially if your business is new and small. A manual labeling machines require workers to individually load and apply each label.

Semi-Automatic Labeling Machines

Semi-automatic labeling machines are operated by a hand or footswitch. An employee loads the bottles onto the conveyor and then presses a button to apply the labels. This method is faster and more consistent than manual hand labeling.

In many cases, a semi-automatic, wrap-around labeling machine is the best option for labeling wine bottles since it allows you to ramp up from small-batch winemaking to a fully automatic, in-line labeler machine over time without having to overhaul your equipment or bottling line.

Automatic Labeling Machines

Automatic labeling machines have front and back and wrap-around options. Both are quicker and more accurate than manual and semi-automatic labelers. In-line automatic label machines provide a massive leap in productivity and efficiency. Once wine bottles or cans are filled, they are continuously fed to the labeling machine, resulting in roughly 150 labeled products per hour providing ultimate label placement control and consistency.

Automatic labeling equipment ranges in capability and price. Choose one that fits your current operational needs and can scale with your needs as you grow.

The Importance of Labeling Equipment

No matter how fast you’re able to bottle and label your product, overall output will be limited by the speed at which you can package it and get it to market. In this process, one major challenge experienced by many wineries is the printing and application of wine labels.

Bottle labeling machines come in a range of prices, which often seems overwhelming to winery owners operating on a limited budget. However, the addition of efficient labeling equipment can increase productivity dramatically and pay for itself quickly by ramping up output immediately.

Efficiency for Fast and Effective Labeling

A wine labeling machine isn’t useful if it doesn’t improve efficiency. Choose the right equipment to make the workload lighter.

Typically, most wineries start without a significant upfront capital investment, so they must hand label each wine bottle to begin production.

However, adding one semi-automatic labeling machine, tabletop or modular, can increase productivity by almost 500%, allowing up to 150 bottles per hour to be labeled. These smaller labelers are more affordable for new or small wineries. These options also work better if you need to get monthly wine subscription box orders out the door on time consistently.

Fully automatic in-line labeling machines are physically larger and a little more expensive, but they can label up to 500 bottles per hour. This efficiency increase allows wineries to fill more bottles without getting back logged at the labeling stage.

As more wine leaves the bottling line and hits the market, the labeling equipment will more than justify the investment.

The Importance of Quality Labels

When you invest in semi or fully automatic labeling equipment, you can expect your wine bottle labels to adhere correctly each time, unlike manual labeling, where consistency is difficult.

The use of semi-automatic or fully automatic wine labeling equipment gives a winery the ability to place a well-designed wine label accurately every time. And we all know that a great label applied evenly and precisely is a crucial marketing tool.

Bottle labeling machines are faster and offer consistent placement with fewer errors than the manual hand labeling process. The best labeling equipment includes stabilizers that ensure the label is placed evenly and in the same location over and over without movement vertically or horizontally.

Consider Cost vs. Value

While the upfront cost of purchasing or leasing new labeling equipment may seem daunting, it’s essential to evaluate all the cost factors that affect your winery.

For instance, the one-time purchase of labeling equipment will be significantly less than the cost of hiring a full-time employee to apply labels to wine bottles or cans. If you already have workers attaching labels, automating your labeling process will free them up to do more pressing or profitable tasks.

Another important part of the cost equation is the reduction of wasted and defective products coming off the line. Labeling equipment is consistent and reliable, so human error is eliminated, and fewer labels are misplaced, which saves money. It’s essential to understand efficiency and cost savings versus the actual cash price of the equipment. Ultimately, the value of the equipment is greater than the cost in many significant ways.

Evaluating Your Setup

Before making any decisions about the type of label applicator machine you want to purchase, evaluate your current setup, and determine what role the labeler machine will play in your bottling line. It's also critical to establish parameters that will determine the size and type of labeling machine you need. This will help you choose a wine labeler that meets your needs, fits seamlessly into your current operation, and makes your process more efficient.

Your Production Run

The production run is when your machinery operates, from set up to complete production. To properly evaluate your needs during the production run, you must identify your labeling and production goals. To do this, consider the following:

  •   Decide on the quantity and speed that you want your product to move through the line. Label machines come in different speed ranges, so choose one that fits the speed that your line can maintain.
  •   Consider the potential downtime that could occur as you change labeling applications (e.g., moving from hand labeling to a semi-automatic machine).

Any wine labeling machine you choose will come with pros and cons, so look for a labeler that will be simple for you to set up, use, and maintain.

Useful Space and Accessible Equipment

Once you have clear goals in mind for the amount of wine that you will be pushing through your line and at what speed, the next step is to find equipment that will fit into the space you have and be easily accessible. Other considerations include existing equipment compatibility and overall production line design.

Your production line includes a variety of machines, such as:

  •   Fillers
  •   Cappers or corkers
  •   Labelers

For the sake of efficiency and to prevent problems, it’s best to purchase a labeling machine that is compatible with the equipment you already have in your line.

Purchasing new equipment is also an opportunity to decide whether you want your labeling machine to fit in-line with your current machinery, or if you would prefer a freestanding labeler.

Choose a labeler that keeps up with your filling and sealing machines as well as scale with your company as it grows.

Container Shapes and Label Considerations

The shape of the bottle or can you choose for your wine must be taken into account when selecting the proper label size and style and how it will be placed.

Most wineries still prefer to use glass bottles for their wine. However, glass bottles are expensive and heavy. Aluminum cans, a popular trend in the economy wine sector, are lighter and cost-effective.

Still, most premium wineries feel the aesthetics and class factor of a glass bottle beats an aluminum can every time. But, according to wine drinkers, the packaging doesn’t make a difference in the way wine tastes.

Regardless of your brand’s preference, once you determine what type of container to use for your wine, it’s time to decide the wine label size, style, and placement. You can choose from front and back labels, wrap-around labels, or shrink sleeve labels.

If you know that your bottle or can will have an unusual shape or a distinctive taper, you will need to find a labeling machine that can properly affix labels to those unique dimensions. Labeling machines come in a variety of sizes and types but are not necessarily universal to all label applications.

Quality Containers and Labels

For a sharp, professional appearance, be sure to use high-quality materials. While the right labeler can do a great job labeling your cans and bottles, if the containers aren't premium, they will cause issues that make your product look bad.


No matter what you choose, be sure the containers are consistent. Imperfections and inconsistencies in the size and shape can cause your label machine to misread where the labels need to be placed. Inspect your containers regularly for any signs of poor quality so that you can address them before they are filled and improperly labeled.

The Square Test

A beneficial way to test the consistency of a batch of cans or bottles is with a "square test." To do this, place a can or bottle against a straight edge or ruler and slowly rotate it. If there are any shape anomalies, you will see gaps appearing between the container and the straight edge.

These minor changes in shape are enough to impact your labels adhesiveness and appearance. Inconsistencies can create bubbles beneath the label and negatively impact shrink sleeve labels.

Label Quality

Label quality is another factor that will determine your overall results. Labels come in many different materials and use a variety of glues or adhesives when applied to your containers. Poor quality labels are susceptible to tearing, bubbling, smearing, and other label performance malfunctions. Choose a well-known and trusted label brand and give some thought to whether you prefer a paper or synthetic product.

Remember, poorly designed and applied labels are easily spotted by wine enthusiasts who appreciate all aspects of wine culture, including the packaging.

Choosing a Labeling Partner

Choosing the right labeling equipment for your wine will depend on more than just the machine's functionality. When you purchase from a labeling equipment manufacturer or distributor, you also begin an ongoing partnership with them. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a labeling partner.

Replacing Parts

In business, you don’t have time to wait for replacement parts. Doing so will cost you time and money.

Naturally, all equipment is subject to some rate of failure when it's used regularly. It's imperative that your labeling machine manufacturer has spare parts on hand and that they're readily available. The longer your machine is down, the less product you can get out of the door — and time is money.

Ask your labeling equipment provider if any parts are known to wear out and what the wait time is for replacements. This allows you to plan for any maintenance or repairs that will need to be done without impacting your regular production time.

Choose Excellent Customer Service

The key to keeping your wine line running smoothly is to ensure that your labeling equipment is well-maintained and serviced throughout its life. The manufacturer of your labeling machine should be available to answer any of your questions or concerns and assist you in solving minor problems.

The best way to find a reputable dealer is to ask for recommendations within the wine community. As you investigate labeling equipment dealers, consider the timeliness of their responses, whether their solutions are trustworthy, and if they're able to provide ongoing upgrades and continuous support. All of these are important as your operation grows.

High-Quality Equipment

High-quality products should be the goal of every manufacturer. However, not all companies follow the same set of standards. Your company needs the highest quality equipment to run efficiently.

To ensure that you are getting the best value for your money, ask your dealer a few questions about their quality control procedures for parts, repairs, and new machines. For instance, find out how they test machines before pre-sale and ask what type of inspections are done on used and refurbished machinery before they resell them.

The investment you make today in labeling equipment for your winery is going to depend on the support and customer care of the equipment manufacturer long term.

As a customer, you want to know they stand behind their products by providing the following:

  •   Thorough and helpful answers to your questions.
  •   Parts are readily available.
  •   An adherence to high-quality standards for all equipment, new or used.

All these factors have an impact on how well your labeling machine performs beyond those first few thousand bottles, and as your wine operation expands.

Seal the Deal: Elevate Your Winery's Success with Expert Labeling Solutions

As you move toward increasing your wine production with professional labeling equipment, keep in mind all the decisions you need to make.

Evaluate your current production line and determine the number of bottles or cans that need labeling, as well as any space and design limitations.

Once you've set some production goals and have an idea of how you are going to integrate a new piece of labeling equipment, it is time to go shopping.

Purchasing a labeling machine will require you to compare the different options such as:

  •   Semi-automatic
  •   Fully automatic
  •   Tabletop
  •   In-line

You'll also need to consider your materials:

  •   Glass bottle
  •   Aluminum can
  •   Vinyl labels
  •   Gloss paper labels

The proper materials ensure that the labeling machine you choose will perform well.

Remember that the labeling equipment you choose will require ongoing maintenance and care to stay operational. Contact a reputable dealer and get information about their service contracts and the availability of parts so you have the resources needed to keep your new machine in working order.

The effective use of automated labeling technology offers significant improvements in productivity and output for wineries. However, finding the right labeling machine is the key. Be sure to evaluate all potential labeling machines for quality, speed, and reliability before you make a purchase.

Meet Pack Leader USA

Who We Are

As our name suggests, Pack Leader USA is a leader in the labeling industry. Built on the research and development of Pack Leader Machinery, Inc., we entered the North American market with high-quality products, modernized labeling technologies, and an excellent customer service reputation. We have taken the labeling industry to the next level by designing easy-to-use and cost-effective labeling machines that serve the growing wine industry.

Our Commitment

We are committed to providing our customers with reliable machinery, quick service, and readily available parts to ensure uptime and eliminate costly downtime. Before you purchase, we are happy to offer free consultation and, if you’re ready to buy, we’ll walk you through the purchasing process step by step from price quote and delivery to set up and ongoing customer support and training.

We promise to provide more than just a piece of equipment for your wine bottling line — we’ll come alongside you as your partner.

Contact Pack Leader USA with any questions and set up a Free labeling equipment consultation with our team today to learn which of our labelers can help your winery improve productivity and efficiency and fit your budget.

Download the Wine Industry’s Guide to Labeling Equipment