What is an AVA anyway?

What is an AVA anyway?

It’s all about the Terrior

The soil and the climate of a particular region can be critical to successfully growing excellent wine grapes. Winemaking can enhance the end product, but as with any product, starting with the best possible fruit is critical to making an excellent wine. This is why having the right grapes from the right AVA is critical.

The AVA as a source of pride

The Gold Medal wine club says this, AVA stands for American Viticultural Area – “a designated wine grape growing region in the United States that is distinguishable by its geography”. They go on to describe many things about the history of AVAs in America, including the fact that the first one was designated in July 1980 as our American Wines became prominent in the world market. Read their great post about AVAs by clicking here. The AVA where your wine grapes are grown should be a source of pride – rooting for the home team. Hopefully you and other growers in your region are working hard to control what you can and working in harmony with mother nature to make the best possible fruit in each vintage.

TTB Map of AVAs – check it out!

The US Government ultimately decides what will be considered a recognized AVA or sub-AVA. Their is a rigorous process to get your particular area or region recognized – kind of like getting your home on the historic register in a particular city. This cool interactive map lets you see all the AVAs in your region – or any region in the United States.

Click here to try this great free tool.

  • Select by State and County
  • Browse and Zoom
  • See terrain features
  • Save your favorites
  • It’s Free!

Call Us Today – We know Wine Labels

Not only are the AVA designations very important to the quality of your harvest and value of your land, they are also important for marketing. If your grapes come from a coveted AVA, it would be foolish NOT to include that in your label – and if you include the wrong AVA, you could be in for legal trouble. If you need legal help in this area, we can refer you to great people to help in this area.

We print for nearly 100 wineries each year and that number keeps growing. Our team has the experience and tools to make a great wine label for you, and we back the labels up with a commitment to quality. Call us today!

Roll Counts for Small Wineries

Roll Counts for Small Wineries

Small Rolls are a Pain to Apply!

Many of our wine customers use a mobile bottling service like Signature or Casteel. Mobile bottlers are economical for many reasons, including inline label application. This video shows labels being applied on a Signature bottling line. Because of the speed and cost of these bottling lines, nobody wants down time. One of the things that can kill productivity is having to stop to change a label roll. Therefore, everyone wants rolls as large as possible – often up to 12-14″ in diameter.

Filling the Press Web is Cost Effective

The problem comes with our customers that do many small batches of wine. Some have 3-5 different blocks of grapes that each go into a specific, very special wine. If you only produce 50 cases of something, the label roll will never be very big – but it gets even worse! We try to be as cost effective as possible so we fill the press web (13″ wide paper in the press).

This image of a label in productions shows that we are running the label 3-across the web to save time and money for the customer. The press web is filled, allowing us to print 3 labels at a time. The problem, however, is that this results in even smaller rolls on the bottling line. If you print 900 labels (60 cases of a specialty wine), you will end up with 3 rolls of 300 each and a nightmare on the bottling line.

Wasting Material is Bad for Everyone

Not only does filling the web make the job more cost effective, it also saves the earth by wasting less paper. On our state of the art digital printing press, the machine requires a full 13″ web, regardless of the finished label size. This means if we want to print only one label across the web, we use 3x the paper for the run! And 3x the press time to get the job done. This is wasteful but also more expensive for the customer.

Splices are Bad, too!

Another (bad) option is splicing the three small rolls together. A splice is basically just taping three rolls together. This is bad because these splices frequently break on the bottling line due to high tension on the rolls. And, this also opens the option for a very big problem – accidentally splicing two different items onto the same roll! For these reasons, we don’t recommend splicing these small rolls.

Total Applied Cost

The label job isn’t really done until the label is on the bottle, in the retail store, and sold to a consumer. The cost of packaging is very complicated and much more than just the individual label price. The total applied cost – the final cost of the label on the bottle – is what really matters. For this reason, we have some very specific recommendations for small batch wineries.

You Decide – Our recommendation

Ultimately, the customer decides what is best for their particular situation. But, based on our 92 years of label experience, we strongly suggest you pay a bit more to get full sized rolls, without splices, to maximize your up time on the bottling line. This doesn’t apply to hand applied labels – only machine applied items on a high speed bottling line. Nobody likes to pay extra for labels, or to waste material, but for us, paying a bit more for the label is worth it to keep your total applied cost down.

Questions? Please call us today at 503-777-4711. We look forward to printing for you again very soon!

Labels Matter – Especially with Wine Labels

Labels Matter – Especially with Wine Labels

Powerful wine labels connect. The wine is the ultimate product – and good wine will bring them back. The first sale relies on the label. Labels matter more than ever in the crowded retail market. You only have a brief moment to make a connection, and your label is the primary vehicle to do that.

The recent article by Cyrus Azari – ‘The Power of a Well Crafted Label‘ talks about this in detail. He makes several great points, including this:

You better have a sleek and sexy label design that is visually appealing! Here’s the kicker, it has to be appealing towards who you want to buy that product.

Cyrus Azari, Merchant 23 blog

The key point here is that the label has to be appealing to your target audience. If you don’t know who you are selling to, then any label will work. But if you do (and you better in this competitive category) then you need a label tailored EXACTLY to the consumer you are trying to reach.

  • Young professionals trying to make a good impression
  • Experienced wine lovers that belong to 3 wine clubs
  • Men/Women/African Americans
  • Converts from beer or spirits
  • Chefs that want a wine to compliment a meal

All of these are valid and worthy segments to target, and all of them could potentially need a different label. Defining your ideal customer first is the best way to start your label design – if you can bring this to your graphic designer, it will make the process much more productive.

There really is no perfect label for your wine – there is only the perfect label that connects with the consumer you are targeting. A label is a visual representation of your brand – it is the promise to the consumer about how they will feel while enjoying your product. The wine has to fulfil the promise made by the label, but until you know the actual promise you are making, it is very hard to hit the target.

Think about your target audience and your brand promise – once those are well defined, the label will design itself. In the label design process, we would be happy to collaborate with your designer to discuss paper options, foil and embossing, and special die cut shapes to bring your vision to life.

Call us today. We can help!

Outstanding Branding Advice from Professionals

Outstanding Branding Advice from Professionals

Begin with the End In Mind

Remember that every part of your business that the customer sees has an impact – positive or negative – whether it is intentional or accidental.  Everything WILL have an impact, and by being proactive and thoughtful, you can shape that impact.  Think about the feelings you want people to have when they come to your store, view your packaging, or use your product.  How do they feel?  These are all good and viable feelings your product could invoke, but they are all very different.

  • Happy?
  • Confident?
  • Giddy?
  • Bad A$$?

Be sure that when you set out to create or update your brand, you begin with this end in mind.  Start with you you want them to feel when they interact with you, then work backwards to create that feeling.

Labels are Only Part of the Package

We love labels!  Labels are our life – but we know that they are only a small part of the brand.  Labels only ‘work’ to the extent that they reinforce and build on your web design, your on-premise look and feel, your menu, your actual product in the bag, box, or bottle.  The owners’ personality also plays into this – if you are an owner-operator, or otherwise serve as the ‘face’ of the business, then how you interact matters too.  Again, we don’t want to minimize the value of labels (never!) but we realize they are part of a larger branding system.  Read more about that in the great article below.

Start with your Authentic Brand

Begin with your message and your brand voice.  A presentation by our friend Clare Carver was the inspiration for this Authentic Brand blog post.  Check it out.  This is covered in more detail in the tutorial below.

Check out this Cool Tutorial from Codo

This is one of the most comprehensive, well written guides to branding that we have seen.  This is specifically targeted to Craft Beer (which is a big part of our business) but it could equally apply to any product company with a consumer product in a bag, box, or bottle.  Anyone with any business could learn from this guide. Check it by clicking here

Need Label Help?

Once you have the complete branding package complete, and you need to bring that brand vision into the world, please call us!  We can help reinforce your brand and bring it to life in the hands of your consumers.  We have great printing technology and people ready to help.  Call us today!

TLMI Calvin Frost Environmental Leadership Award

TLMI Calvin Frost Environmental Leadership Award

Rose City Label Recognized with TLMI Environmental Leadership Award for 2018

Rose City Label won the Environmental Leadership Award at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the top label printers in America.  This Environmental Leadership Award is given annually to one printer and one supplier based on judging Environmental Leadership Awardthe association environmental community.  The award recognizes specific programs, demonstrated results, and a cultural commitment to the environment.  We are very honored to join the list of past winners and we will never stop on our eco-friendly journey.  This year, the awards were renamed in honor of Calvin Frost – a true environmental leader in the printing industry.  There is nothing better than a cold frosty beer from our customer in the commemorative ‘Frosty 2018’ mug.

Results Matter

Trying hard and having commitment are important, but for the TLMI Environmental Leadership Award, results matter:

  1. Five Year Water Reduction of 47%
  2. Five Year Natural Gas Reduction of 43%
  3. Small reductions in Garbage and Electricity as well

All measures are indexed to manufacturing output as our business has grown considerably in the past 5 years.  Complete details and annual graphs of these measures can be found in this blog post.

Small Things that Every Business Can Apply

Besides these dramatic results, the committee was impressed with the programs and projects the company has championed.  These include:

  1. Encouraging employee bicycle commuting
  2. Providing excess pallets for employee home garden projects
  3. Recycling pallet wrap at the local supermarket
  4. Giving away excess pallets on Craigslist for local projects
  5. Shipping via direct courier service whenever possible
  6. Reusing items in the press room during production runs

More about these innovative programs can be found at these two blog posts click here for part 1 and click here for part 2.

Make Conscious Choices

The final area called out by the judges in this award was a leadership commitment to the environment. This philosophy is baked into the business so deeply that an employee recently lobbied for an electric car charging station – she knew it would align with our values (and with her new car), but also would provide marketing value and would contribute to this award criteria.  All team members know we are focused on the environment.  Some additional major indicators:

  1. Conversion to 100% wind power – read more here
  2. Water wash printing plates – among the first on the West Coast to adopt this system – read more here
  3. Monthly review of eco-metrics along with financial performance

Honoring the Label Eco-Legend – Calvin Frost

Environmental Leadership AwardThis award was particularly important to us since it was renamed in honor of our longtime friend and vendor, Calvin Frost.  Calvin has been the voice of the sustainability movement for decades and his message is finally being heard far and wide in the industry.  Calvin’s company, Channelled Resources, is basically one big recycling business.   For over 40 years, the company has inspected and salvaged potentially damaged product.  This stock would be destined for the landfill if his company didn’t take the time to sort and save the (large percentage) of this material.

Winning this award any year would be great, but to the first ever ‘Frosty’ award winner is even better!

Thank You – Call Us Today

We are ready to help others become more ‘green’.  Any success we have is a team effort and we want to help you on your journey.  Are you just getting started? Or need some pro-level tips?  Please call us today.  If you buy labels, that is fantastic, but we will help any business with a true desire to learn and grow in their eco-journey.  Cheers!

Simplify with Can Labels!

Simplify with Can Labels!

Can Labels Pop!

Bright colors catch consumer eyes.  You only have a few seconds to grab them and entice them into picking up your product.  Can labels pop off the shelf.  Printed cans have their place at times. Look at the vibrant color you get with a label!  Once the consumer locks onto your can, it’s up to the beer (or other product) to sell them the second time. The first time is very dependent on your packaging. Can labels pop and they help new consumers try your product.

Simplify your Life (and Inventory)

How great would it be if you only had to inventory ONE can?  If you didn’t have to tie up cash and warehouse space for 200,000 EACH of 5 different SKUs, your life would be much simpler.  Can labels pop, but that is only one of the advantages.  Having a more responsive, nimble inventory management can allow you to focus on making more great beer!

The Shelf Image is Dramatic

Check out this previous post to see the vibrant colors – click here

There is a VALUE to the cost

Bright Inks Pop off the LabelYes, premium can labels from 7c up to 25c or more for low volume specialty labels.  This is significant, but what is the value that comes with this cost?  What is the additional shelf impact, the lifetime value of customers that find you for the first time?  There is tremendous value in a simplified inventory system, right?  What is the value of giving your brewer the flexibility to try new, exciting recipes?  The actual financial cost is easy to measure, but the value gained from this packaging upgrade is difficult to quantify – but it is real.

Call us Today

We delivered these can labels in less than a week when a good customer was in a jam.  Going with can labels adds flexibility and speed to your production.  We have the material and the technology to help you with 12oz, 16oz, and crowler can labels.  Call us today!