Last but not least, an icon is unequivocally recognizable: Coca-Cola’s red, Nike’s swoosh, Apple’s clean design, Barbie’s packaging. This may be the hardest aspect of icon status to attain—that moment when all your rich layers of meaning, ethos, and embodiment of principles become one single visual representation. And, no, I’m not talking about Sir Peter’s Panama hat (though it’s a close second). For a winery, it all comes down to the label. One tiny rectangle of paper has to encompass all of the above, as well as the promise of what’s inside the bottle. This pinstriped frame on paper the color of parchment is simple, yet it tells us that there’s something long-lived inside. The strength of the main font signals how important the family legacy is and hopes to be, while the absence of any abstract impressionist art or splashes of neon color tells you that these people know exactly who they are and what they are doing. There’s a resounding identity there. And the red California poppy honors the dream, the sunshine, and the brand’s magnificent destiny.
If you’ve tasted the wine, you already know. All you needed was the visual cue and the remembrance of taste. Peter Michael Winery is iconic.