Shorn merino sheep inspire wine brand win

Native kahikatea fence posts from the station are uniquely carved to house the bottle.

The New Zealand branch of branding consultancy Interbrand has won its company’s global award for its Naked Sheep Wine design.

Its entry won the Global 2013 Interbrand Best Work Award for Craft, Packaging.

Interbrand NZ was tasked by boutique wine grower Ben Aubrey to develop a brand and packaging that reflected the heritage of the South Island Cairn Station vineyard on one of New Zealand’s oldest merino sheep stations.

Cairn Station is set among the Southern Alps. Its merino flock is sheared once a year and the luxury wool harvested for premium wool products. Interbrand linked the celebration of the sheep-shearing season and the wool to the bottling of the wine, and named it Naked Sheep.

The bottle is naked, with only a sheep tag as the label and one “black sheep” featured in every 12 bottles produced.

Native kahikatea fence posts from the station are uniquely carved to house the wine bottle, representing provenance.

Each box features a pattern representing merino wool fibre, grape-vine tendrils and vineyard fencing wire. The story of the brand’s origins are etched on the inside face.

“The packaging brings together the story of heritage and authenticity of its origins," Interbrand account director Michelle Stoupe says. 

"It represents the luxury of the merino wool and the annual harvest of the grape crop, all packaged up in a unique piece of New Zealand – not just to savour the wine, but to remember the place.” 

To have won the award among their global peers is an honour and a testament to the hard work and efforts of the team, Interbrand NZ managing director James Bickford says. 

"We’re excited to see the Naked Sheep brand come to life and represent the best of New Zealand.”