One of China’s best known wineries, Silver Heights, is debuting a series of new label designs inspired by millennia-old Ningxia civilization, as it celebrates its 15th anniversary.
This is the first major label change for the family-owned winery founded in 2007 in Ningxia.
Paying homage to Ningxia’s unique geographical origin, legacy and heritage, the new designs are inspired by thousands of years old ancient rock art found in Ningxia, as well as second-generation winemaker Emma Gao’s love for traditional Chinese poetry and the tenacity of Ningxia people.
“The new label design holds special meanings for my love to Ningxia, and Silver Heights’ vision for the future. We’ve made upgrades to the logo, making it more modern. At the same time, we unified label colours so that all our product lines present a coherent visual system, also as a response to our customer’s more contemporary visual appeal,” explains Emma Gao, the talented and Bordeaux-trained winemaker.
Speaking of the inspirations, Gao adds, “the graphics on the labels are inspired by Helanshan Rock Art that dates back 4000-6000 years, It is our way of paying homage to the Ningxia civilization. My love of Chinese painting and poetry also affected the new design, we induced traditional Chinese elements with a contemporary visual style.”
UNITY OF MAN AND NATURE
The initial new label designs will be reflected on three of the boutique winery’s top red wines, namely The Summit (阙歌), The Family Red (和合) and top cuvee Emma’s Reserve (爱玛).
One of the most dramatic transformations involves the Family Red, formerly Silver Heights Family Reserve Red, a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Its Chinese name is also changed to ‘和合’ or ‘harmony and unity’ in English, which finds its root in one of the main guiding principles in Chinese philosophy Taoism’s “Unity of Man and Nature (天人合一)”.
Its core meaning is manifested in the understanding of relationship between nature and man. It embraces inherent respect for nature and advocates that human activities should conform to rules of nature, not against. This view inspires us humans to recognize ourselves, as and behave as, an integral part of nature, therefore to achieve “harmony” and “oneness” with Mother Nature.
The motive for the change as Emma explains is to reflect the winery’s evolved winemaking philosophy that seeks harmony with nature. At Silver Heights, harmony between winery life and our environment is restored, conserved and valued through minimal intervention, biodynamic practices and enriched biodiversity.
Since 2017, Silver Heights has started converting to biodynamic viticulture, and the new designs are stripped of synthetic processes and cut back on ink printing to reduce chemical use and carbon dioxide emission.
“We take sustainability as our original intention to reduce the wine label printing colour and special process, so that it’s more in line with the future development, to make a contribution to low carbon emission,” Gao adds.
Featuring a slicker and more contemporary look, each individual label has its unique element coherently displayed within a comprehensive Silver Heights identity that will act as a unifying force as the brand grows.
Both Emma’s Reserve and Family Red will start using the new label designs starting with the 2018 vintage, and The Summit will be bottled with new label from 2019 vintage onwards.