The lure of non-traditional Wine Bottles—and the challenges!

As I flip through the pages of the glass catalogs, my designer-heart skips a beat. The shapes are sexy, elegant, sleek, and exciting. 

I long for the day when a client calls and says we’re using THESE exquisite bottles and I want you design the glorious packaging.

Actually, it HAS happened—a few times. But it’s rare.

Here’s what we’ve learned…


We need to assess the bottle to see how much printable surface is available. It may be quite small. Concave and bulbous shapes are particularly challenging.

External Packaging

Extra tall or chunky bottles don’t fit in standard cartons, shippers, wine bags, or gift boxes. EVERYTHING must be custom made to your specifications—usually in small quantities. And that gets very expensive, fast.

Bottling Line

Unusually-shaped bottles may not work with your bottling and labeling equipment. They may need to be hand-filled and labels may need to be hand-applied.


Very few wine bars or retailers are set up to store and display non-standard bottles. They struggle with what to do when they don’t fit in their storage and display units. Sadly, they are likely to end up in “less than desirable” locations from a sales standpoint.

I don’t want to talk you out of using a special bottle. I hope you do, and I hope that I get to be the one that deals with the design challenges. When you have an exquisite wine that needs an exquisite bottle and exquisite packaging PLEASE call. We can’t wait to help you bring your vision to life! But we do want you to go into the project with realistic expectations.

Cheers to Tiers! 

Winery owners often find themselves with an outlier—a wine or wines that don’t fit with the others in their line up. 

Maybe it’s exceptional quality. 

Maybe it’s a production wine that’s going into distribution. 

Maybe it’s a fruit-based wine.

Whatever your circumstances, you may want to create a new tier or a second label.

The difference? 


A new tier still looks like your other wines. It has the same brand name, it just communicates a different price point. A winery might have four or five tiers and the breakout might look like this:

– Everyday drinker at $15/bottle

– Lovely Wines at $30-35/bottle

– Sparkling wines $30-40/bottle

– Winemaker’s Reserve at $60-75/bottle

– Liquid Gold at $150/bottle

At least, that’s how some have done it. Your mileage may vary, of course.