Called at various times "the little man", "the naked man", "the rock guy", or simply "baldy", the distinctive image at the heart of our labels comes from an original painting by San Francisco artist Michel Burgard. The painting is one of a series of "contemporary icons" by the artist that explore the symbiosis of the physical and the spiritual worlds. Keith found the painting at the artist's gallery near his home, and thought that it expressed some of his own feelings about wine and winemaking.
"To me, the painting shows the human spirit escaping its bounds and suggests continuity between science and art. I would like to think it captures the essence of what winemaking is all about -- freeing oneself from earthly confines and at the same time, learning to work with nature."
The original work was created using hand-mixed egg tempera colors and water-based gilt, on a found oak panel. The painting was photographed and touched up digitally for use on our label. The first version of our label features the painting in an arched-window shape against a marble background. This label was used on the 1991 through 1998 vintages.
For the 1999 vintage, Keith decided that the label needed to be updated to a cleaner, more classically-styled format. He brought in designer Edwin Heaven to re-interpret the label, while keeping the original picture as its core element. The result is the black, white and gold label used on all of our current vintages.