The Victorian poet and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Wine is bottled poetry.” We are taught not to judge a book by its cover but by its contents. Vintage 99 is the counter to the argument. For 21 years, the Livermore, CA-based wine label manufacturer, Vintage 99, has been perfecting the art of the wine bottle label. In one of the most ambitious components of the winemaking process, Vintage 99 continually pushes the industry boundaries.
The process of creating a wine label from scratch is delicate. Yet, for over a decade, Vintage 99 has done just that with award-winning results. The proficient agents who command the art and production wing of Vintage 99 make sure their clients stand out on a crowded shelf. The intricate designs and types of paper make wine labels one of the most technically challenging and difficult labels to produce. From thinking about the label’s embellishments and the bottle shape to how specific labels react to condensation.
“Wine labels are essential to selling wine and gaining brand loyalty,” says Vintage 99 President, Kay Gonzales. “The label is the only portion on the shelf that communicates what a product is and why a customer should buy it. More than 70 percent of all first-time wine purchases are based on the content and appearance of the label alone.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic gave the world sour grapes, Gonzales had to figure out how to keep her staff employed and the brand alive. The moment the Small Business Administration announced the Payment Paycheck Protection program, Gonzales knew precisely where to go for help.
Since 2008, California Bank & Trust (CB&T) has been a dependable resource to Vintage 99; so, it wasn’t a surprise when their banker was there with the answers. As she puts it, “Our banker, Todd Baker, in Walnut Creek, was completely instrumental for us getting the first round of funds.”
“I’m indebted to CB&T without a doubt. Your banker should work with you and not look at you like an amount or how much of a risk you may pose to their portfolio.”
Coming off back-to-back California fires and now, COVID-19, she is no stranger to surprises. But with an unforeseen future from the pandemic, Gonzales wondered if the brand had six months left.
“You know, as a small business owner, it’s difficult for me to sleep at night. But honestly, I knew CB&T would help me through it. I even emailed Todd at 11:30 at night and didn’t expect to hear anything until the morning. He got back to me ten minutes later.”
Since Vintage 99 received funding from CB&T, Gonzales was able to retain her employees and keep production up and running. For Gonzales, integrity is a trait that she holds very dear–it’s part of her character. She saw the same legitimate concern she felt for her employees and their families demonstrated by the way her CB&T banker helped Vintage 99 get through this difficult time. Because of that, the future seems ripe for Vintage 99.
Cheers to that! [cite::171::cite] [cite::172::cite]