Though bottle labels have existed since ancient Egypt, the advent of lithography in the late 1700s allowed mass-printed labels to rely more heavily on images to express a wine\u2019s character or origin. Over the years, art has expanded the role of labels from purely informational to aspirational and even collectable, and they now convey more about a wine than language could alone.\r\n\r\nAfter all, wine, like art, is a sensory experience, and a bottle\u2019s label \u201chas to be beautiful,\u201d says Elaina Leibee, wine director for Erewhon Market, a specialty grocery chain in California.\r\n\r\nHere, five label projects that demonstrate the ways art and wine can intertwine.\r\nDonnafugata Rosa ros\u00e9 encapsulates Sicilian style and terroir\r\nDonnafugata\u2019s collaboration with fashion house and fellow Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) relies on art to help express its history and terroir. A blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nocera, two indigenous Sicilian grapes harvested from around Mount Etna, the wine is emblazoned with a D&G design inspired by Sicily\u2019s characteristic folk art.\r\n\r\nIt features energetic, geometric bursts of color that recall the vibrant patterns of the island\u2019s traditional carts and portray a strong sense of culture and place to many, yet also read as playful and approachable to those unfamiliar with the region\u2019s iconography.\r\nCastellani Tenuta di Ceppaiano commemorates Keith Haring\r\nTuscany\u2019s Castellani family has forged several relationships that blend art with wine, most predominantly through its non-profit artist sanctuary, Materia Prima.\r\n\r\nIn 2019, they released a bottling to commemorate one of their more famous friends: Keith Haring. Its label features a sketch the artist had given to the family, who were instrumental in the creation of his final public mural in Pisa, Italy, back in the 1980s. The work depicts one of Haring\u2019s characteristic figures fleeing an onslaught of grapes and the wine\u2019s profits benefit the Castellanis\u2019 Materia Prima.\r\n\r\n\r\nArt moves beyond the labels of St. Reginald Parish\r\nSome labels exemplify the synergy of art and wine. In 2020, photographs by Catherine Opie appeared on a two-bottle collaboration between Willamette Valley producer St. Reginald Parish and Los Angeles wine shop Domaine LA. Given the wines\u2019 concept and styles, Opie created pensive sunset scenes that complemented the colors of the orange and white wines. Wine is \u201can aesthetic experience and a sensory experience, and the visual nature of the bottle is part of that,\u201d says Domaine LA\u2019s owner, Jill Bernheimer.\r\n\r\nTo extend the art\u2019s impact beyond the bottles, Opie\u2019s photos were also produced as limited-edition prints to benefit Los Angeles venues The Underground Museum and Summaeverythang Community Center.\r\nThe medium becomes the message for Stolpman Vineyards\u2019 Para Maria\r\nIn some cases, labels prioritize art over information, or even replace words entirely with an eye-catching image. Stolpman Vineyards\u2019 Para Maria labels are a great example.\r\n\r\nUsed for both a red wine and a ros\u00e9, they do not contain any text and instead allow the face of an owl to fill the space. They were designed by Kari Crist, the winery\u2019s creative director, in honor of their namesake, Winemaker Maria Solorzano.\r\n\r\nThe tecolote, or night owl, is both a nickname for residents of Solorzano\u2019s hometown in Jalisco, Mexico, and a nod to the nocturnal harvest season that she leads. The label may not inform consumers about the wine within either bottle, but it does provide a compelling visual.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe labels of Las Jaras Wines are fun, fresh and forward\r\nModern label designs can wholeheartedly counter the formality of traditional wine labels notorious for depictions of historic chateaus and elaborate cursive. Producers in comparatively young winemaking countries like America and Australia have often led this charge.\r\n\r\nThese makers rely on playful graphics to convey their more approachable and experimental attitude toward wine. California\u2019s Las Jaras Wines, for instance, has been known to choose bright colors and designs made by artists like Chloe Wise and Jen Stark.\r\n\r\nRather than adhere to a single theme or statement, the labels resonate across several movements of contemporary art to convey the energetic character of the producer\u2019s minimal-intervention bottlings.