Heat recently collaborated with California wine company "Les Grands Vins de Colette" to create a passionate brand story for the company's first offering.
San Francisco based creative agency entered into an enthusiastic, yet strategic, partnership with the winemaker to conceive and deliver a strong, resonant, and complete brand experience.
"We did this project for trade, which I think says volumes," commented John Elder, President of Heat. "While we are used to working on higher-profile projects for much bigger companies, we are very passionate about wine and opportunities where we are liberated creatively. We jumped at the chance to develop a brand like this one from the ground up. It was an unique collaboration to uncover stories about Claire-Marie's amazing grandmother and then translate those stories into a brand that was true to the winemakers and the wine."
Among many other things, that process of collaboration and discovery revealed that Claire-Marie's Vietnamese grandmother actually adopted the name Colette out of reverence for the French writer. The name of both the company and the wine is thus an homage to the grandmother. Evocatively diverse elements of Colette and the Laidley's lives are reflected in the intricate design of the Chardonnay's bottle and label.
Through an intricate illustration by artist Dennis Auth, the label of the new Chardonnay employs an ornate bramble of grape bunches, vines, and leaves to frame and highlight a variety of evocative icons, each corresponding to a significant element in the lives of Colette and the Laidleys. An old-style book, pen and inkwell, for example, refer to the admired writer and her influence on the grandmother. An elegant pocketwatch reveals the time to be 9:12, representing the Laidley's wedding anniversary of September 12. Mahjong tiles, a cycle rickshaw, and lotus flowers reflect elements of Colette's life in Vietnam, while a Labrador dog, lavender flowers, and olives reveal elements of the Laidley's life in California.
"At the same time that they are discovering the taste of this brand new wine, we wanted people to discover something of the story behind the wine," said Nicole Berger, Art Director at Heat and on the Colette project. "There is a limited amount of space on the label to convey such a rich history in words, so we employed iconic images from that history to intrigue wine drinkers into a deeper experiential connection with this new vintage."