Jasmine Branderhorst of The Vibrant Vine Winery in East Kelowna had the brilliant idea to put the shrink-wrap labels on the award-winning white wine that would become known as Oops?
"We want to catch people's attention and get them thinking about whether it's really a mistake or clever marketing," said Wyn Lewis, who owns The Vibrant Vine Winery in East Kelowna with his wife Marion.
The Lewises are now calling it innovative marketing because the aptly-named Oops? blend in the bottle has won best white wine on earth at the World Wine Competition in Geneva that is part of the World Beverage Competition.
Part of the competition is also the Packaging of the Year Awards, in which Oops? won a bronze medal for the upside-down, shrink-wrap psychadelic label.
Oops?'s genesis goes back a year when the Lewises were out of town and winery worker Jasmine Branderhorst was applying the shrink-wrap to 8,000 bottles of a as-yet-unnamed white blend.
Early on, by mistake, she put one of the labels on upside down.
She thought it looked neat and carried on, putting upside down labels on all 8,000 bottles.
"The first word I used when I found out about it was not 'oops'," said Lewis, declining to repeat the profanity he may have used instead.
"I thought we'd have to redo all the labels."
Applying shrink-wrap labels that cover the entire bottle is
labour intensive with each bottle and label plunged individually by hand into boiling water so it
adheres to the glass.
explained her position.
Upside down labels were in keeping with the winery's quirkiness, they caught people's attention and it gave the winery a chance to call the wine something whimisical like Oops?
"All is forgive with Jasmine," said Lewis.
"She's now hailed as a marketing genius."
Generally, The Vibrant Vine doesn't bother entering its wines in contests, preferring people discover the limited production vintages through the on-site wine shop, select liquor stores and because of the unique art on the labels.
But, last year, the winery's glass supplier, TricorBraun, entered The Vibrant Vine's chardonnay in the Packaging of the Year competition and it won a silver.
This year, TricorBraun entered Oops? for its upside down shock value in the same packaging contest.
What the Lewises didn't know is that TricorBraun, as an
afterthought, also entered Oops? in the World Wine Competition.
"We're still really in shock that Oops? won a platinum medal as the best white wine in the world," said Lewis.
"Wines were submitted by 10,000 wineries all over the world. It's the biggest competition in the world."
The Oops? wine was made by son Tony Lewis, who has since left the family business to start his own winery called Orphan Grape, also in East Kelowna.
The pop surrealist art that makes up the Oops? label and the labels of all The Vibrant Vine's other wines is by the Lewises' other son Phil, who lives in Boulder, Colorado.
"It's nice that both sons had a hand in the wins," said Lewis.
"Tony for making the wine and Phil for the packaging."
With Tony now running his own venture, The Vibrant Vine will now have its wines made at The Crush Pad in Summerland.