Wine Labels

Archive of the Mendocino Heritage Artists

BILL ZACHA’S Mendocino County Wine Label Art

Corti Brothers

Corti Brothers Vineyard

Corti Brothers Vineyard (1976). Watercolor by Bill Zacha, commissioned by Darrell Corti as original wine label art for a special vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. WZ197620
Corti Brothers Vineyard (1976). Watercolor by William Zacha, commissioned in 1974 by Darrell Corti as original wine label art for a special Cabernet Sauvignon bottling (1974 vintage), then used on labels for three later vintages from the same vines . WZ197620
Corti Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon label (1993). Original artwork by Bill Zacha.
Corti Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon label (1993). Original artwork by William Zacha.

Inscription: If I drink water while this doth last, may I never again drink wine.

About the Art and the Wine
By the mid 1920s, Phillipe de Rothschild, at his property in Bordeaux, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, commissions the French artist Carlu to create a label for his 1927 vintage. This forms the basis of the now legendary collection of artist labels for this property’s wine, which is an unbroken line dating from the first in 1945 to the present vintage. In some instances, these labels themselves have become more famous than the wine held in the bottle they decorate.

In California, Corti Brothers was the first to use a specially commissioned artist label. This was for a special Cabernet Sauvignon bottling from Anderson Valley in Mendocino County in 1974. This was for a Cabernet Sauvignon made by Jed Steele, then winemaker at Edmeades vineyard.

I had seen the work of Bill Zacha, a local Mendocino artist at his exhibit at the California Room of the State Library, and decided that he would be a logical choice to do a label for this wine.

Since the wine was very special, I gave him the choice of using two artistic methods for the label. One was drawing of the now disappeared Mendocino apple driers, very typical for this area. The other was to use a saying from the noted British writer of the late 19th century, Thomas Love Peacock, reading, “If I drink water while this doth last, may I never again drink wine.” Which to use was his choice.

When I picked up the artwork, Zacha had combined both elements: the apple drier and the saying.

This was then reproduced by Sacramento’s Fruitridge Printing and has been used for further vintages of the same vineyard wine: 1975, 1983, and 1993.

The artwork was specific to that Cabernet wine and has only been used for it. Since the vineyard has now been pulled up, and cabernet sauvignon usually ripens there one year out of ten, there will no longer be any further bottlings. – Excerpt from “What’s in a Label?” by Darrell Corti

EDMEADES VINEYARDS

Stay Me With Flagons

Stay Me with Flagons (1967). Serigraph by Bill Zacha. WZ196715
Stay Me with Flagons (1967). Inscription from Song of Solomon 2:5, King James Version: “Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.” Serigraph by William Zacha, later used as the artwork for Edmeades Vineyards Ice Wine, Colombard, 1977 vintage. WZ196715
Edmeades' Vineyards Ice Wine label (1977). Artwork by Bill Zacha (1967).
Edmeades’ Vineyards Ice Wine label (1977). Artwork by William Zacha (1967).

Late Summer, Mendocino

Late Summer, Mendocino (1978). Watercolor by Bill Zacha. Artwork used on 1978 Edmeades Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon label. WZ197810
Late Summer, Mendocino (1978). Watercolor by William Zacha. Artwork used on 1978 Edmeades Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon label. WZ197810
Edmeades Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon label (1979). Artwork: Bill Zacha's watercolor, Late Summer (1978).
Edmeades Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon label (1979). Artwork: William Zacha’s watercolor, Late Summer (1978).

July Headlands, Mendocino

Mendocino (1983). Watercolor by Bill Zacha. WZ198320
July Headlands, Mendocino (1983). Watercolor by William Zacha. A second painting of a favorite view. WZ198320

February, Mendocino

February, Mendocino (1978). Serigraph by Bill Zacha, artwork used on the Edmeades Vineyards Rain Wine label. WZ197801
February, Mendocino (1978). Serigraph by William Zacha. WZ197801

February, Mendocino ’85

February, Mendocino '85. A later edition based on February Mendocino (1978). Serigraph by Bill Zacha. WZ198501
February, Mendocino ’85. A later edition based on February, Mendocino (1978). Serigraph by William Zacha. Artwork used on the Edmeades Vineyards Rain Wine labels, 1984 vintage (released in 1985), and following. WZ198501
Edmeades Vineyards Rain Wine label (1985), vintage 1984.
Edmeades Vineyards Rain Wine label (1985), artwork by William Zacha. Vintage 1984.

What is a Serigraph?

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