I only noticed the news item today, discussing the new look label for one of South Africa’s oldest and best-known commercial wine brands, Chateau Libertas. This easy drinking wine was the aspirational option for new wine drinkers who had just moved up from Tassenberg! It’s a consistent quaffer and some years is actually surprisingly good. The fact that it comes from a huge producer has also meant that it has managed to remain a good value option. The old-school yellowy label is instantly recognizable… and now it’s been changed.
The wine is part of South African wine culture and you’d be hard pressed to find a wine lover who hasn’t enjoyed a few bottles around the braai or with a steak. In South Africa it is probably second only to Tassenberg in terms of that odd-shaped place in a wine-lover’s heart for the cheap and cheerful bottles that started their journey into wine.
Chateau Libertas first hit the scene in 1932 and according to the website this Cabernet Sauvignon based blend was served to the British Royal family on their visit to South Africa in 1947!
It is part of the Distell portfolio of wine brands and clearly someone decided that it was time for the packaging to get a facelift. A packaging change for a well-known brand. You can create a new wave of supporters or risk alienating your existing ones. The old Chateau Libertas label has not changed much in the time I can remember and had just enough of that 70s/80s kitsch that South Africa does so well!
But… the marketing and design gurus have spoken and from August the label will look like most other generic, sanitized wine labels around the supermarket shelves. Sure, the font-style of the Chateau Libertas name remain’s identifiable, but the new label looks like someone took the old label and put it through the washing machine with their towels and duvet cover.
In what I assume is the press release that has been on a number of sites, it is said that the Chateau Libertas label has “been given a dramatically (sic) new look as it gears up for its 80th birthday next year”. The makeover is described as ‘glamorous’ and spokesperson Jackie Olivier stresses that the intrinsics remain virtually unaltered as they are retaining the cork closure and the style of the wine itself.
What do you think of the new look? Personally, unless the brand was struggling I see little reason to change it. Please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts. Cheers.
Image source: Hospitality Marketplace