• Transform magazine
  • July 31, 2021


Denomination reimagines Chateau Ste. Michelle

Chateau Ste Michelle Closeup Duo Closeup

Drinks design specialist, Denomination, worked with US winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, to refresh the brand's visual identity, enticing a broader demographic and increasing global reach.


Parent company Ste. Michelle Wine Estates approached Denomination with a desire to evolve and elevate Chateau Ste. Michelle, to become a player on the global stage. It also needed to expand the engagement of the broader portfolio mix beyond Riesling and Chardonnay, and continue to attract a younger wine drinking audience.

The brand had grown over the years and, as a result, wanted a label that reflected its Washington heritage and eye to the future. The new identity aims to communicate the legacy of Chateau Ste. Michelle and elevate the brand to visually appeal to consumers looking for a premium wine in a crowded market. At the same time the rebrand seeks to stay recognisable and familiar to loyal fans and customers of Chateau Ste. Michelle wines.

“We’ve positioned Chateau Ste. Michelle as a contemporary classic, with a tier structure that appeals to all levels, from novice to connoisseur. After a visit to the Pacific North West, we felt that regional heritage would provide greater differentiation in a sea of US competitors, as well as being more culturally relevant to foreign consumers. There’s a specific mindset in the Pacific North West that made sense for the brand. It’s aspirational but inclusive; premium but inviting; creative and forward-thinking,” says Rowena Curlewis, CEO of Denomination.

The creative response has been developed to allow Chateau Ste. Michelle to celebrate the differences between its tiers, particularly the Indian Wells and Columbia Valley ranges, increasing awareness and engagement with a broader global audience.

The sideways depiction of the château on the old label has been redrawn and now appears front-on and in a contemporary style that depicts the grounds at the winery in Woodinville, Washington. For the Columbia Valley range, the foliage seen in the gardens at the château are conveyed through loose watercolors. For the Indian Wells range, to represent its contemporary winemaking style, foliage is replaced with a modern red brushstroke. The new labels build in other distinctive assets which can be used to drive storytelling and differentiation both on and off-pack.

The winery invested in print finishes with the aim of capturing the product’s integrity. The asset works across digital platforms, given the desire to broaden appeal to a younger, more social media-savvy consumer.

Our whole brand identity has been refined to give it more modernity and sophistication while maintaining immediate recognitio. Denomination reimagined a brand that had a traditional feel, but without compromising its integrity,” says Francis Perrin, CMO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.