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Xixist
02-02-2009, 05:15 AM
After extensive research I have found that there is a lot to know about labeling bottles. Professional wine labels are required to display specific information including country, winery, vintage, variety, volume, and alcohol percent and may contain other information such as premier status, dryness, vineyard, bottler, awards and logos.
There are some discrepancies in formal labeling between wine and mead that lead up to this question.
In wine bottle labeling, the vintage is recorded as the date the grapes were harvested, not the year the wine was made. This is a strict rule and to be acknowledged even when using older juice.
In mead, there is no telling when the harvest took place being that honey retards spoilage and sometimes sits for ages in storage. How is one to date their mead labels? .. the year it was pitched?, or the year it was bottled? or the year the honey was purchased?
Tis one of many label questions .. thanx, Xixist

TheRabidKumquat
02-02-2009, 02:37 PM
Perhaps it's different for every city/county/state.

If it's for your own personal use, you could label it however you want.

If it's for legal sale, then again, it would depend on your local laws.

I was told that my local meadery wasn't allowed to put 'vintages' on their products, and they also mentioned that they had to re-work a recipe to make a new batch of a particular mead. I don't know if that was for their own experimentation, or if it was required, I didn't think to ask at the time.

Whenever I bottle/label I just put the name of the mead, what bottle # it is, out of how many, and when i bottled it. I've not made any fancy looking labels, of yet. It's all hand written on some tape. If I get a stellar mead, I'll make some proper labels.

Once I get some proper equipment, I'll work on labels. It also doesn't help that I'm not too artistically inclined, so I don't try. What I visualize in my head rarely translates itself in the finished attempt.

The commercial bottles I have contain the alcohol content, the quantity, the name of the mead and meadmaker, and a brief description of the mead. The back label also contains the government warning about alcohol, and that it contains sulfites.

andrewschwab
02-03-2009, 02:31 AM
That seems sad that no vintage is allowed. I would think the year it was pitched would be the vintage to put on the label, wondering if there is some way around this. All legal like to have a vintage on the bottle. It kinda irks me that most if not all meads have no vintage.

Xixist
02-03-2009, 10:36 PM
I agree it seems the pitching date would be the 'vintage' but it may, for whatever reason, need a different name. Perhaps I'll record it on the label as 'Pitch 2008'.
This, in turn, brings up the question of fruit 'vintage' in melomels. If a vintage is the date the grapes are picked then the same would be true for the fruit in melomels.
I would like to see some current professional mead labels and see how they got around this one.
Xixist

wayneb
02-04-2009, 11:51 AM
I label my bottles with a "Fermentation CommencÚ" (fermentation has begun) date.

Brad Dahlhofer
02-04-2009, 02:22 PM
Since Mead is considered a non-standard wine, there are all kinds of restrictions and formula rules we must follow. To get around the vintage problem, some of us are putting Production Date on the bottles, which in my opinion should indicate the pitch date. There are other reasons for wanting to do this other than knowing the age of the mead. 1st one must consider that many meaderies are making the same recipe more than once throughout the year, so it is necessary to tell one batch from the other in the event of a product recall (for whatever reason). The other reason is so the customer can tell how old a mead has aged before drinking and can compare/rate one batch against another.

This said, we have not yet started including our Production Date on our labels because of the cost savings when we buy labels in bulk. Our costs are cut in half if we order 10,000 labels as opposed to 1200 labels (our standard batch size).

Now this will not be the case when we release Ken Schramm's Heart of Darkness (sometime this year?). Each bottle will be hand numbered, signed, and dated. The date we choose will be up to Ken. ;)

Here's a link to one of our prototype labels. The final is very similar. This is a 2.2MB file. You've been warned. www.bnektar.com/BNektar_prototype-label.pdf

Brad

osluder
02-04-2009, 02:44 PM
Here's a link to one of our prototype labels. The final is very similar.

I like the "beeline" sweetness gauge. -- Olen

Brad Dahlhofer
02-11-2009, 08:20 PM
Thanks. That was really my only major contribution to the label. Kerri and Paul are both graphic designers, so I let them do their thing. I based it on the meters I've seen on many Canadian wine bottles.

STLBrewer
02-16-2009, 12:19 AM
I like the whole design...very nice.

cam07ds
02-20-2009, 01:40 PM
Brad
Great label, now all we have to do is be able to get your mead here in Colorado....
Steve

Dan McFeeley
02-20-2009, 02:17 PM
. . . and Illinois. I've been talking with one of our local liquor store folk about mead, can't get him to do more than White Winter Meadery, and Bunratty Meade.