Informative and Effective Codes on Wine Lables in Spain | Catavino
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Doug Frost MS/MW

Informative and Effective Codes on Wine Lables in Spain

code on spanish wine labelA few months ago, we shared a crazy idea with you to use the QRcode on winery labels so as to provide more information to the consumer. Two of Catavino Marketing’s clients are now using this technology; and today, we want to refer you to the very first, as far as we know, Spanish winery jumping onboard. Cingles Blaus, a winery located in the Montsant region of Spain, has with the cooperation of, developed a wine label where the code takes precedence. The label, with “The gateway to more wine culture” printed on the side of the bottle, is a stylish version of a data matrix code in black and red. It is proudly displayed on the side of two of the winery’s wines: Octubre 2007 and Mas de les Moreres 2006. I love these labels, and the idea of making the code so prominent; however, I am disappointed that the URL redirect in the code goes to a non-mobile ready site. Granted, it’s a small issue, but one that is important if people are to really embrace this technology.

Continuing our rant about our dream to have all wines use these codes, the number one question people have asked us is, “How many wineries are using them?” As of now, our answer is 3, though please prove us wrong and send examples of others. The second follow-up question is, “will it take awhile to reach a critical mass”. Our response is twofold. First, yes it may take time for wineries to adopt this technology, but that is no reason not to implement it. It’s free, and anyone can create a code and use it. Currently, more and more people are downloading the software to their phones to scan a wide range of products which are adopting the code. Second, it will happen – either in this form or another. Look at what happened in Japan, a country that tends to be ahead of the technological curve, where cell phones ship standard with a code reader already on them. Everywhere you go in Japan, as I understand it, people are scanning codes for more information. Check out the videos at the end of this page:

Ok, so enough of the code, how is the wine? Well to tell you the truth I was waiting for a gimick wine to go with the labels, but was happy to find something worth drinking. Big bold modern wines, that show bright fresh acidity to create a wonderful balance! Rich fruit and nice minerals without heavy wood influence. Tonight they’ll be paired up with a few grilled burgers alongside grilled asparagus, red pepper and blue cheese – a pairing I doubt will fail.

As wineries begin to realize the need to listen to the their customers, they will look for easy tools, such as QR codes, to begin the dialoge. I applaud Cingles Blaus and encourage you to both look for these tasty wines and to download code reading software to your mobile phone just in case you come across one in your next wine shopping adventure!


Ryan Opaz

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  • I still don’t see the point on those labels. Isn’t it easier to write the information in the label so anyone can read it? With the label you are restricting your message to people who first knows what it is, and also who has the program to read the codes in their cell phones. So I don’t see the advantage. It just makes things more complicated. Enjoyable maybe for a few of techno-geeks.

    • Olaf, the point is not to exclude information from the label, but to offer this label so that there is even more information. Right now people are using the cell phone scanners more and more , and with these labels wineries can direct consumers to videos, audio, and detailed notes that no label can ever possibly carry. In this way offering a richer experience, and the more wineries that use it the more incentive for consumers to participate.

      These things are happening and I do believe that they are future, whether it’s today or 50 yrs from now, people will be interacting with their purchases in new ways.

  • Ian

    There’s also a company in Portugal that has added QR codes onto its labels :-

  • Hi Ryan,
    I love you love our labels!
    The QR code is specially applied to the Cingles Blaus (blue cliffs, on the Montsant massif) labels to reach a new generation of wine lovers, those that were born with a mobile phone in the cradle. Young people (21-31 years) have a very open way of looking at, understanding and enjoying wine. A lot of grandfathers think the best wine is made in France, the best sparkling too. And France deserves a good reputation but the last twenty years there are a lot Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Australian, Argentinean, etc. wine makers that are producing extraordinary wines. I even would say that the old lady ‘la France’ has been thrown of her throne more than once.
    Back to the new generation! The most important and founded decision to take when you are going to make a wine is ‘Which kind of wine do I want to make?’. Cingles Blaus wants to democratize their wines to all people and demystificate wines from market manipulated prejudices. Our wine maker Eloi Milá says about Octubre: “If there is a bottle on the table, it will empty easily and lead to another. People should drink it without ceremony and allow their senses to enjoy.”
    The QR code fits perfectly in the big picture of Cingles Blaus. An accessible, easy drinking wine not hard to ‘understand’.
    A very communicative wine. Through the QR code every bottle connects the consumer which we rarely can meet, specially when the wine is exported of course (*), to the producer, which they rarely meet.
    The actual content of our codes on the labels is only for the time being redirected to our web page. But we are (impatiently) developing new content in accordance with the ‘culture’ of our importers and distributors clients. Cingles Blaus is a small (but great!) fish with 30.000 bottles production and is growing step by step. Soon you will get more news.
    And as you say, this is happening today and there are many ways of communication, but this is Our Way!
    I Never want to forget to mention that this bright idea and the new corporate image of Cingles Blaus sprouted out of the clever minds of the Somosene team ! Thanks Malena, Claudio and Quique.

    Stefan Lismond, export manager for
    (*) 70% of all bottled DO Montsant wines are exported to the world.

    • The real strength though Stefan is when you and others like you Quevedo, and Cortes de Cima, work together to promote this. By yourselves there is no future, as a group you will succeed. Quevedo and Cortes de Cima are working together, and I’m sure they would love to collaborate! The more people who use this the better chance of success. Please encourage other wine makers in your area to join in! Cheers, Ryan

  • Hi everyone,
    i’ve just found out the post and the discussion.
    I agree with Ryan in the answer to Olaf.
    I say thankyou to Stefan for being there making good points and saying nice things about somosene. It’s true that more new things are coming from Cingles Blaus.
    Next Tuesday we’ll be presenting this case at and one of my points will be saying to the people over there to work together. But as Ryan know to spred the new you need someone to take the risk, to be the first on doing this or that. So Cingles Blaus did it and i think they deserve this aknowledgment. Now is time for other wine makers to follow them and to work together round a new platform.
    But what we are talking about here is culture and ways of doing things in business. About how wine makers in Spain take de task of improving their communication. As you people in english says they have to come to terms with it.
    At debatdevi i’m going to talk about wine therapy, not recomending a spa in Rioja but saying that only if you see your needs you will be able to work on them. From here what ever you want, but first this gruop of wine makers all round Spain have to realize they have to change something on their ways; if not they will arrive always to the same place.
    And also there’s one thing here i want to say: Ryan you say that there’s no future going alone and i can agree. But there is a present that is building a future for Cingles Blaus and that’s because of two things: 1) they make very good wines; they care about the wine they make
    2) retailers, restaurants owners and importers are truly interested on having this wines at there shops and restaurants because Cingles Blaus is giving them the possibility of a new conversation with their customers and a new way of building together innovative ways of promoting.

    Ryan we’ll try to get more and more producers to understand this posibility and i really would like to find the way that AVIN and other uses of the code, as now Cingles Blaus, could work together.

    Thankyou for this platform you’re building for the discussion and improvement of the wine business round Iberia.
    Here goes a hugh for you and Gabriella