Archive for the Wine and Design Category


Posted in Wine and Design with tags , , on May 28, 2010 by jponzi

Artecnica is a Los Angeles based design company that collaborates with the most established and emerging international designers to create inspiring decorative objects for the living environment.

Erico Bressan in 1986 co-founded artenica with Tahmineh Javanbakht. He is a native of Italy and an architect by trade, Bressan, he has spent many years as a computer electronic design engineer.   The focus of the business was architectural and interior design services for clients including Gianni Versace and Sebastian International. Bressan’s award-winning architectural work has recently extended to developing sustainable product design and architectural programs with foundations and design schools in the Dominican Republic, Brazil and California.

Tahmineh Javanbakht, an Iranian-born artist while American educated, has produced many commissioned paintings. She is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where she has also taught experimental painting. Her designs have sold at specialty design and museum stores around the world. While collaborating with Enrico Bressan on several freelance projects, Artecnica was born. Javanbakht works and lives in Los Angeles.

One of Artenica’s most profound designers is Tord Boontje. He was born in the Netherlands and he studied industrial design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven  and then followed with his Masters for the Royal College of Art in London. Then Studio Tord Boontje was founded in 1996. He has worked on countless projects and has had group as well as solo exhibits in many museums mainly in Milan, London and New York.

Transglass is produced in Guatemala from recycled and reused wine and beer bottles. This environmentally friendly product is a great addition to any dining or coffee table, and makes the perfect gift. Transglass has been accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“The idea behind the collection is to use what we have. We take away, we appropriate, we transform. Hard, sharp, clean forms, original colours, as found within the bottles. We believe that Transglass is a glassware collection with a contemporary beauty that shows a positive attitude toward the environment.” – Emma Woffenden and Tord Boontje

Although his creations are permanently in the MOMA, the public can also purchase other models online at websites ranging from all the way to, a design consulting and retail firm.


Colors and Shapes of bottles

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various types with tags , , , on May 27, 2010 by jponzi

Wine producers in Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany follow the tradition of their local areas in choosing the shape of bottle most appropriate for their wine.

Port Wine

  • Port, sherry, and Bordeaux varieties: straight-sided and high-shouldered with a pronounced punt. Port and sherry bottles may have a bulbous neck to collect any residue.
  • Burgundies and Rhône varieties: tall bottles with sloping shoulders and a smaller punt.
  • Rhine (also known as hock or hoch), Mosel, and Alsace varieties: narrow and tall with little or no punt.
  • Champagne and other sparkling wines: thick-walled and wide with a pronounced punt and sloping shoulders.
  • German wines from Franconia: the Bocksbeutel bottle.
  • The Chianti and some other Italian wines: the fiasco, a round-bottomed flask encased in a straw basket.

Burgundy Wine

Alsace Wine


Bocksbeutel Wine


Many North and South American, South African, and Australasian wine producers select the bottle shape they wish to associate their wines with. For instance, a producer who believes their wine is similar to Bordeaux may choose to bottle his wine in Bordeaux-style bottles.

The home wine maker may use any bottle, as the shape of the bottle does not affect the taste of the finished product. The sole exception is in producing sparkling wine where thicker-walled bottles should be used to handle the excess pressure.

The traditional colours used for wine bottles are:

  • Bordeaux: dark green for reds, light green for dry whites, clear for sweet whites.
  • Burgundy and the Rhone: dark green.
  • Mosel and Alsace: dark to medium green, although some producers have traditionally used amber.
  • Rhine: amber, although some producers have traditionally used green.
  • Champagne: Usually dark to medium green. Rosé champagnes are usually a colorless or green.

Clear bottles have recently become popular with white wine producers in many countries, including Greece, Canada and New Zealand. Most red wine worldwide is still bottled in green glass. Easy to use and provides helpful advice

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , on May 11, 2010 by jponzi

With the company we have examined the initial stages, the set-up, the expertise and opinions of the founder, and the exclusive wines that are offered. Now we will look at more of the set up and how Designwine is able to effectively help its customers. On the site there is a scroll down menu where customers can select find the perfect gift, personal gifts and corporate gifts. We will first start with the perfect gift.

Here customers can first choose the gender of the reciever of their gift.Then customers can chose the relation that this person has with the giver for example:

Then customers can choose from a variety of personalities:

Then from a variety of occasions:

Then you can finally choose the price range:

For example I chose Female, Partner, Adventurous, Dinner and 50-100 euros and my results were as follows:This easy to use platform really allows consumers to take advice from the wine experts and see all the combinations that they can come up with. This innovative tool and design allows for consumers to interact with the wine experts without having a constant person available. The internet has truly opened the market for niche marketing/business and does just that.

Visit to Anfra and Interview with the owner

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , , on May 10, 2010 by jponzi

During this past spring break I took a visit to Pescara, Abruzzo to see my friend and interview him about his wine. I was able to go to the Anfra institution and see the vineyards, the machinery and the workers. Below are some pictures I took at Anfra:

One place where the magic happens inthe wine process

A view overlooking the vineyards of ANFRA

Wine Vines-Trebbiano D'Abruzzo

Me in the Anfra vineyard

First I asked Francesco Savini, the co-founder of Anfra how long has Anfra existed. He said it  was founded in 1970 as a farm and in 2003 he produced the first bottle of wine with the ANFRA label.

When asked why he started Anfra he said he and his brother had always a passion for wine and grapes from the Pineto area produce excellent wines.

The vineyards that I got to see were their newest vineyards, were planted in 2007 and the first harvet was in 2008, but the largest harvest was in 2009. Pertaining to a vineyards if the gardner/vine expert does a good job, in one year one can harvest the first grape. After 3 years you will have a great production. At Anfra the oldest vineyards are from 1968, being planted by Francesco’s grand parents and now are regarded as being medium aged for the world of wine.

Currently Anfra’s line includes 11 labels, divided into five types of grape.

In the 100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo there are:

1. Reilla- Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG Colline Teramane

2. The most popular- NERO DEI DUE MORI Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC

3. ANFRA Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC

4. Borgo Santa Maria Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC

Then there are 2 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo-Cerasuolo

1. ANFRA-Cerasuolo Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC

2. Borgo Santa Maria- Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo DOC

Then there are 2 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

1. Borgo Santa Maria-Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC

2. Anfra- Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC

Then there are 2 Pecorino IGT

1. ANFRA- Pecorino IGT

2. Borgo Santa Maria-Pecorino igt

Finally there is one Passerina

1. ANFRA- Passerina IGT

When asked what the different stages that occur in a vineyard Francesco replied in saying that the various processes that take place in the vineyard, vary from year to year based on many factors. The main factor is climate, then there are seasons. In summary, all the tasks that are executed at a vineyard are: tillage, soil preparation, mulching herbs in excess, digging, cutting grass between the rows, anti-parasitic treatment plant, vine pruning, tying, picking/trying the fruits, and  thinning grapes. After all these steps the final step is the harvest.

Anfra wine is now sold in Italy, particularly in the Abruzzo region and also in some regions in Switzerland and throughout the U.S. specifically through some wine clubs online. And Yes! Anfra exports wine. Export practices usually involves the same importer. In the United States of America the wine must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration FDA and receive a code that identifies the company. All product shall be processed with a warning label, with its endorsement of the law.

Anfra has won multiple awards which include:

Gold Medal Award 2004 in the Abruzzo region Packaging of Two Black Moors;

Grand Mention Diploma of the International Wine Competition Vinitaly 2008 for the Two Black Moors 2005;

Silver Medal International Wine Competition 2009 for the Black Vinitaly the Two Moors 2006;

National finals in 2010 with the Black TreBicchieri Gamberorosso of the Two Moors 2006;

Award Best Value Gamberorosso on driving BereBene Lowcost 2010 for ANFRA Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2008;

Grand Mention Diploma of the International Wine Competition Vinitaly 2010 for the Two Black Moors 2007;

When asked about marketing and followers Savini replied that the new media are shifting more and more to social advertising. Anfra in this sense has been active on both Facebook and Twitter. It currently has more than 2,500 friends and 1,000 fans on Facebook. The numbers are growing constantly, as many people consider this channel as a form of being close to the company. In the coming periods Anfra intends to involve its customers, organizing contests, and interactive promotions.

When asked if there was a specific process used to produce his wine Francesco answered that the vinification techniques used are classical ones,  and there is not a special method that is not already in use elsewhere.


Posted in Wine and Design with tags , , , on May 9, 2010 by jponzi

Since the mid-1990s, a number of wine brands have switched to alternative wine closuring materials such as synthetic plastic stoppers, screw-caps, or other closures. In some countries, screwcaps are often seen as a cheap alternative destined only for the low grade wines, however in Australia, the majority of non-sparkling wine production now uses these caps as a cork alternative. These alternatives have their own properties, some advantageous and some controversial. For example, it is argued that screw-tops are generally considered to offer a trichloroanisole (TCA) free seal by reduce the oxygen transfer rate to almost zero. TCA is one of the primary causes of cork taint in wine. However, in recent years major cork producers (Amorim, Álvaro Coelho & Irmãos, Cork Supply Group, and Oeneo) have developed methods that remove most TCA from natural wine corks. Natural cork stoppers are important because they allow oxygen to interact with wine for proper aging, and are best suited for bold red wines purchased with the intent to age.

So as mentioned above Australia and NEW ZEALAND HAVE CREATED A SCREW-CAP INITIATIVE.

International Screwcap Initiative is a non-profit making association that also offers a unique marketing opportunity to premium wine producers from around the world.

The key objectives include the following:

To encourage and facilitate the use of screw-cap wine seals by wine producers all around the world;

To provide a forum for gathering and disseminating business intelligence, and otherwise facilitating the exchange of ideas, opinions and contributions to further the use of screw-caps; and

To identify and develop business and project methodologies, and best practice in use, promotion and education of screw-cap wine seals.

Although it is mainly rooted in Australia and New Zealand there are Internation Screw-cap Initiative Members are around the world:

Why Screwcaps?

When Australian and New Zealand winemakers first decided to use screw-caps, they did so partly based on the extensive information that was available, but also as a result of the practical experience that fellow winemakers openly shared with them. Many winemakers had been conducting internal experiments for several years, therefore, samples with reasonable bottle age were available for tasting.

In addition to this, a series of trials were performed by both the University of Burgundy (1960s) and the Australian Wine Research Institute (1970s) which proved that  consecutive tastings from screwcaps were indeed a viable alternative to natural cork.

As a result, winemakers in both Australia and New Zealand decided that it was time to take the leap of faith that was necessary to get the ball rolling. As Michael Brajkovich MW, Chairman of the ISI points out, “At Kumeu River we were considering doing a proportion in screwcap and still having cork available for customers who wanted it. But then my brother Paul asked me if I was confident that the screwcap was significantly better. I said yes, and based on extensive tastings of aged Rieslings from Australia, I had no doubt that our wines would benefit over the long term as well. As a result, he decided to put everything under screwcap, and communicate with our customers that we are doing it because we knew that the wines would be better – and that has certainly proven to be the case.”

Brajkovich hits on a key point here – the decision to use screwcaps is one for the winemaker, not the marketeer. Winemakers who use screwcaps do so because it allows them to bottle their wines in optimum conditions, knowing that the airtight seal will guarantee that their wines arrive on the consumer’s tables in pristine condition.

As Tyson Stelzer, a prestigious wine critic in Australia, points out in his winemaking manual, Taming the Screw, the advantages of using screwcaps to seal wine bottles are numerous and may be summarised as follows:

No cork taint

No sporadic oxidation

Screwcaps avoid falvour modication- including scalping

Both red and whit ecan age with screwcaps

It’s a realiabel lonterm seal


Design and Wine Glasses

Posted in Wine and Design with tags , , on May 6, 2010 by jponzi

Kacper Hamilton, a designer created a new series of wine glasses that reflect the  seven  deadly sins. He studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London. His work has been published worldwide in Books, Magazines & Websites & exhibited in France, Italy, Spain & England.

These glasses are meant to be used with red wine and each glass encapsulates a sin, which is revealed through the ritual of drinking. Hamilton comments that” The ‘7 Deadly Glasses’ are about celebrating passion and encouraging the user to be sinful in a theatrical fashion.” The glasses are made in England, handmade  and are available upon request.

kouichi okamoto, ceo/designerkyouei design, has created a interesting wine decanter and glass in one. The design is entitled the glass tank. It is a design that allows its consumers to drink a lot.

The device consists of a bulb shaped container and a wide wine glass below. When the amount of wine in the glass decreases, a constant amount is poured from the tank into the glass. The glass never overflows because of the air and water pressure present in the design.

Kyouei design website:

Kyouesi design

1326-15 kusanagi shimizu-ku shizuoka city

Shizuoka 424-0886 japan

Innovation and low cost models

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , , on May 5, 2010 by jponzi

Crushpad, Michael Brill’s custom microcrush winery, recognizes that most people buy wines recommended to them by critics, wine experts, retailers, friends and even wineries. Therefore it started to offer samples of wines in TinyBottles, 50- and 100ml bottles at as little as 10% of the cost of a full bottle, to make it more practical for wineries to give customers a taste.

Brill, whose business is based in San Francisco with outposts in Napa and Bordeaux, points out the obvious: Boutique wineries are having a tough time. “I expect to see hundreds of boutique brands disappear in the next year or so,” he warns

The latest innovation from custom winemaking facility Crushpad is a new way to get their boutique wines into more hands. Their new TinyBottles come in sets of four, letting potential buyers taste several different wines for a LOWER COST, hopefully attracting those who might balk at spending $50 or more for an unfamiliar wine.

The new tasting kits are available on the site, a website that also includes videos and recommendations and sells wines from the various small vineyards. On Brixr a four bottle tasting pack sells for $29.95.

The bottles were developed for Crushpad customers but  Crushpad could also use the system for other wines include barrel samples or imports. Other applications include online tasting, retail or restaurant samples, in-flight wine tastings or review samples.

Crushpad can take wine from existing bottles or in bulk — even barrel samples or imports — and handles label modification and COLA approval as part of a package. Right now, it costs about $2.50 per bottle, but he expects this to drop by half during the next year, as volume builds. Shipping is typically $6 by UPS envelope

The wine can be offered in two-, four- or six-packs, allowing a winery to let wine club members and others taste before buying, or even try barrel samples for futures. The TinyBottles can be used for online, directed tastings. Some distributors are even considering them for retail and restaurant sampling; the present practice of opening 750ml bottles can be very wasteful. Airlines are also looking at them for in-flight wine tasting.

Magazines could sell packs of Top 10s to pair with their articles. Wineries also are looking at them to expand their samples for bloggers and others, though Brill acknowledges that the top reviewers will continue to want 750ml bottles. Brill emphasizes that the goal of the program is to help his customers who sell their wines through Crushpad Commerce, but he thinks the TinyBottles will be very popular.

Now that Crushpad has impletemented the use of Tiny bottles, a new company Tasting Room- has also recently unveiled their sample-sized wine bottle tasting kits. While Crushpad’s bottles are straight tubes the Tasting Room ones are mini wine bottles.

TastingRoom’s founder, Tim Bucher, says his format better preserves the wine and is more popular with consumers. His company spent a year developing the new, patent-pending T.A.S.T.E. Technology (Total Anaerobic Sample Transfer Environment) which preserves wine integrity. In this process wine is transferred from larger bottles into smaller bottles in a sealed, zero-oxygen chamber. It is anticipated that many other companies will follow this LOW COST model to not lose out on sales.