Our sense of history, aesthetics, place, and identity is stimulated by a wine-bottle label. The label offers a small, focused narrative through applied design elements. Labels tell stories, stimulate emotions, and (re)make a culture. Here we present a sense of the poetics of wine labels, and of their contribution to a pöiesis of an emerging Australian terroir. We select a set of Australian wine labels that speak of an Australian history of winemaking, Australian graphic design development, and of the pöiesis of Australian place and identity. Terroir has come late to Australia as a New World wine producer. The “terror” in our title comes from “messing” with the venerable term. Australian wine labels develop a sense of an Australian terroir by identifying grape with place; a winemaker or company's passions, predilections, and practices; and viticulture. An Australian terroir is to be cautiously but continually negotiated and determined: always in the “making.”
Australian Wine Labels: Terroir without Terror
Moya Costello has taught Creative Writing in the School of Arts and Social Science, and Food and Wine Writing in the School of Business and Tourism, Southern Cross University in Australia. She has two collections of short prose and two novellas (Kites in Jakarta and Small Ecstasies; The Office as a Boat and Harriet Chandler). She has published scholarly and creative work on wine in TEXT, Locale, M/C, Griffith Review, Sample, and China-Australia Entrepreneurs. Her co-authored Locale article was republished in Environmentally Sustainable Viticulture (ed. C Gerling), Apple Academic Press.
Robert James Smith is Professor of English Education at Southern Cross University in Australia. He is one of the editors of the scholarly journal Australian Folklore. In addition to foodways, his research interests include contemporary memorial customs and regional folk culture.
Leonie Lane is a visual artist. The common themes of habitat, place, and identity pervade her creative practice. The immediate environment and surrounding landscape of her home studio in Northern NSW inspires imagery and designs featuring aspects of her garden, nearby paddocks, rainforest pockets, disused rural infrastructure, flood plains, and big skies. Images created reference her studio's function and history, from farm shed to print studio/digital workstation, where childhood memories interface with internal and external contemporary worlds. Here collage, photomontage, and printmaking reveal emergent ideas and juxtapositions. www.booyongdesign.com.
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Moya Costello, Robert Smith, Leonie Lane; Australian Wine Labels: Terroir without Terror. Gastronomica 1 August 2018; 18 (3): 54–65. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2018.18.3.54
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