Tupelo Wine - Design Bureau

Tupelo Wine

Tupelo Wine

Tupelo Wine

Tupelo Wine

Tupelo Wine

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

A flood and an Elvis impersonator inspired the label of this Australian wine

Winemaker Wayne Anderson explains how these seemingly unconnected things served as the inspiration for his Cabernet Savignon, Tupelo, named after a line from a song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. “The song is about the tornado and floods that struck the town of Tupelo, MS, in 1936, killing over 200 people,” says Anderson. “It is full of wonderful, dark, chaotic imagery  [and] it reminded me of the current state of the Australian wine industry—flooded and tumultuous.”

A young child by the name of Elvis Presley survived that infamous 1936 flood, and since Anderson had already fallen in love with the name of Presley’s hometown, it seemed only fitting that the icon should be on the bottle’s label. “I’ve never liked using wine imagery on wine labels—vineyard scenes, barrels, grape vines, leaves—[they] are all a bit too obvious for me,” he says. “When you are selling a wine, you are not just selling the wine, you are also selling your story.”

When you are selling a wine, you are not just selling the wine, you are also selling your story.

Anderson turned to Dom Roberts of Mash design studioin Australia to create a unique label. “I was after an original, striking label that didn’t look too much like a conventional wine label. I also didn’t want a ‘retro’ inspired design, something I’d done before and which has since become quite commonplace,” he says. He relayed the story about the song and the flood to Roberts, who came up with the idea of doing a photo shoot that picked up on the imagery from the song.

“Dom came back with the idea of photographing an Elvis impersonator underwater, falling backwards. As it was going to be quite a time-consuming shoot, I kind of had to sign off on it before seeing the finished product,” he says. “But the idea sounded crazy and was quite appealing to me.”

The risk paid off and Anderson loved the image of the soggy Elvis impersonator in full costume. “Obviously, having a good wine in the bottle is important, but having an interesting story to go with it makes people want to try it in the first place. This label says more about me and my personality than the wine itself. ”

 

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