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    Upon the landmark Wither Hills lies Shepherd’s Ridge, overlooking Marlborough’s stunning Wairau Valley. Crafted in the belief that exceptional wi… Read More
    Upon the landmark Wither Hills lies Shepherd’s Ridge, overlooking Marlborough’s stunning Wairau Valley. Crafted in the belief that exceptional wines are created in the vineyard, the Shepherd’s Ridge name symbolises the dedication to these unique vineyard sites. Curious’ brief was to create a visual embodiment for this premium, on-premise exclusive brand. The inspiration for the design was the winery’s incredibly unique landscape. However rather than featuring the traditional geographical features of the Marlborough region or a cliched reference to a shepherd, we decided to create a much more abstract interpretation that evoked the origins and culture of the wine. Read Less
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Expression of the landscape

Upon the landmark Wither Hills lies Shepherd’s Ridge, overlooking Marlborough’s stunning Wairau Valley. Crafted in the belief that exceptional wines are created in the vineyard, the Shepherd’s Ridge name symbolises the dedication to these unique vineyard sites.
Curious’ brief was to create a visual embodiment for this premium, on-premise exclusive brand. The inspiration for the design was the winery’s incredibly unique landscape. However rather than featuring the traditional geographical features of the Marlborough region or a cliched reference to a shepherd, we decided to create a much more abstract interpretation that evoked the origins and culture of the wine.
Animal skulls can be found adorning many South Island houses and cribs, but they are more than ornaments-they are symbols of respect for the creatures that have often sustained life and worked in harmony with the land. To Curious, this was a perfect analogy for the Shepherd’s Ridge vineyards. A sense of regeneration was then also introduced to build in an extra layer of story telling. This was achieved by elegantly interlacing natural vegetation around the iconic skull shape.
Anton Petrov from Watermark Creative captured our vision perfectly with a beautifully understated illustration. It’s simple black and white colour palette and strong sense of structure creates a very powerful image base-but this was then delicately balanced with the flowing cursive lines of vines, leaves and flowers.
To complement this iconography, we chose to incorporate subtle warm grey hues and copper foil to add premium cues and a discreet pop of colour. The typography has also been sensitively handled to enhance the sophistication of the label.
Once the primary packaging had been established, we then moved on to creating a suite of imagery that could be used for all forms of media. Given that Shepherd’s Ridge Reserve is a totally new brand, it was important to feature the bottle and label-as this would allow the consumer to create a strong visual connection at point of purchase. However we also wanted to ensure that there was a symbiotic relationship between the packaging and its origins, so each varietal was surrounded by colour co-ordinated flora and natural stone. The subtle lighting and earthy tones then completed the narrative.

'Shepherd’s Ridge Reserve was a very challenging brief – broad yet bound by wine category tradition. With only a brand name and the wild Marlborough landscape as inspiration, Curious were tasked with creating premium, a distinctive wine label for an all new wine brand. The challenge was that it had to remain somewhat traditional to ensure widespread appeal to the patrons of the bars and restaurants it would be sold in. Far from being overwhelmed by the lack of brand assets to go on, Curious were thrilled to have such creative licence and the end result is a visually striking and distinct label that has received widespread praise from all who have seen it. The powerful icon has also provided the brand with a distinctive and recognisable visual asset.  
 
With incredibly short timelines, Curious went above and beyond to ensure the project was delivered on time and also produced an exceptional suite of photography and creative imagery to support the launch. Curious were true partners and were key to the on-time launch and success of this product and brand. As a result just one week into the launch we have sold over 1000 bottles with customers praising the premium design, saying it gives them the confidence to upsell patrons to the brand.'


Benjamin Cull
Brand manager