On Wednesday at the Roger Smith Hotel I attended the judging of the first ever “The Face of Hudson Valley Wine” wine label competition. Hudson Valley Wine Magazine did a wonderful job creating and executing this competition.  There were about 100 wine labels entered in the various categories.

The judges were: Gorden Kaye, Editor and Publisher of Graphic Design USA; Robert LaValva, Director and Founder of the New Amsterdam Market in NYC; Mark LaRocca, President of LaRocca Branding & Advertising; and Melissa Ifkovits, Wine Sales Consultant for Southern Distributors.

Wineries entered their labels in 7 categories:

  • Best Use of Illustration
  • Best Limitd Edition
  • Best Use of Photography
  • Most Recognizeable as a Hudson Valley Wine
  • Most Unique Name
  • Most Memorable
The competition was the first of its kind for Hudson Valley Wine.  The labels in each category were judged similar to the way wine is judged in a competition.  Judges awarded points on a 1-10 scale based on:

  • Originality – How unique is the label? Compared to others in its category?
  • Style – Is the label contemporary and in good taste? Include the label’s production value.
  • Composition – Are the elements of the label appealing to look at and well-balanced?
  • Legibility. – How clear is the label’s messaging?
There are some very creative and interesting labels that are on the bottles of Hudson Valley Wine.   Congratulations go to:   
Best Use of Illustration: Benmarl Winery 2006 Baco Noir (First Place), Hudson-Chatham
Winery 2007 Merlot (Second Place), Brotherhood Winery Ruby Port (Third Place);
Best Limited Edition: Millbrook Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Franc (First Place), Hudson-
Chatham Winery Baco Reserve (Second Place), Brookview Station Winery Hudson River Ridge
(Third Place);
Best Use of Photography: Palaia Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc (First Place), Cereghino-
Smith Tarragona (Second Place), Palaia Vineyards 2002 Cabernet Franc (Third Place);
Best Type Design: Clinton Vineyards Embrace (First Place), Clinton Vineyards Cassis (Second
Place) and Hudson-Chatham Winery Pomme Bullé (Third Place);
Most Recognizeable as a Hudson Valley Wine: Benmarl Winery 2006 Baco Noir (First Place),
Hudson-Chatham Winery Hudson River Valley Red (Second Place), Millbrook Vineyards 2008
Chardonnay (Third Place);
Most Unique Name: Cereghino-Smith Eaten by Bears (First Place), Pazdar Winery Hot Sin and
Brookview Station Winery WhistleStop White (tied for Second Place), Clinton Vineyards
Embrace (Third Place)
Most Memorable (overall): Benmarl Winery 2006 Baco Noir (First Place), Cereghino-Smith
Rock ‘n Roll Red (Second Place), Clinton Vineyards Embrace (Third Place).
Honorable Mentions include Stoutridge Vineyards Quimby’s Rosé and Glorie Farm Winery
Jumpin Jazz.
The public will be able to vote for their favorite label in the “People’s Choice” at the Shawangunk Wine Trail’s Bounty of the Hudson Wine Festival July 24 & 25 at Warwick Valley Winery.  If you aren’t in the area there will be online  voting available prior to the event.
Below you will find video of the judges comments along with a photo slide show of the competition.