New Chateau Libertas label

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.

Chateau Libertas old and new label

Image source: Hospitality Marketplace


13 Responses to “New Chateau Libertas label”

  1. while change can sometimes be refreshing – in this case I see no reason for changing a tried and tested formula.
    Secondly, I don’t really like the new label.

  2. Jeannette Clarke says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Mike Ratcliffe’s comment. You don’t mess with a classic just for the sake of change! Will be interesting to see what happens with sales figures.

  3. Warren Zwick says:

    The new label does give it a slight air of class but if it aint broke….

  4. Harry says:

    I’m with Mike. With Chateau Libertas having been around for so long the aesthetic of its label becomes unimportant. I was so happy when I saw how a bottle of 69’s label was hardly any different from the current offering.

    That should be their selling point. Quality for years at an always affordable price, not trying to look fancy. I mean, top-growth French labels are not what I would call pretty or stylish, but they are timeless.

  5. Jacques says:

    For a wine in this price range the classic label was probably its biggest asset…now its gone and I am afraid so to the sales turnover…

  6. Marie-Pauline Sauzier says:

    Why change something which is a legend? I do not like the new label. We used to buy Chateau Libertas because it brought back so many happy memories. Will not buy now. If you want to change it go back to the very first label of 1932!!

  7. Syd Goslin says:

    I have been drinking Chateau Libertas for 50 years and I regret to to tell you I will not buy Chateau Lib with the new label;. I think your matketing people have lost it.
    Syd .

  8. Bill T says:

    As long as the wine stays a good as ever, who cares about the label. I quite like it anyway.

  9. Elbe van Tonder says:

    I love the old label, when in a hurry, the old label stood out and drew you to the shelf, I hate the new label, it is dull, dull, dull – why change it?

  10. Joan Robson says:

    Why change something that works, Do your marketing team work for the goverment ?? Stupidly ruin a good thing!!!!!!!!!! Lived in S.A for 20yrs this was my fav wine have been importing to England for 9yrs – no more thanks!

  11. Douw Willemse says:

    Really, you are all so correct!! Chateau has now lost some of its character, albeit in the label. It’s sad that one “clever marketeer” must disrespect the preference of so many followers. Will SAB also now change their Black Label or any of its other brands…..just wondering. Shame on you

  12. Thelmarie Brink says:

    In actual fact… the design of the old label was horrendous…… I want to vommit when I look at it now – Back in the days it could have worked. It was probably designed in 1980 and has not been upgraded in 20 years time. By the way Black label has had an upgrade every year for the past 4 years. BMW upgrade their car models every 5-7 years…… but if they haven’t, would you still drive a car that looks 20 years old? Probably not…… IT WAS TIME…… The generation that used to drink Chateau are passing and it’s time for a new generation to start drinking it again….. otherwise the Brand (who has slowly been dying) would not exist in 3 years anymore…… And I agree… Is it not what’s inside that is more important?

  13. Mike says:

    Considering all the negative responses about the new label on the Chateau Libertas bottle hope you are going to change it back or simply ignore our comments. If it is the latter then why ask for comment in the first place. To me it seemed a dumb decision to chagne it. Why not admit you were wrong & do the right thing.