The stories behind Orin Swift’s quirkiest wine labels


Phinney’s Papillon label is inspired by contradictions. While walking through a vineyard with his three-year-old daughter on his shoulders and thinking about what to call his next wine, a butterfly flew by and his daughter exclaimed, “Look, a papillon!” Phinney was flummoxed as to where she had picked up the French word for butterfly.

It was on his mind to create a label featuring tattoos on someone’s knuckles. “Papillon has eight letters so the idea clicked. I love the juxtaposition of this beautiful French word on these really gritty hands,” says Phinney, who used one of his grape growers as a hand model.

“He’s the nicest guy and a third generation old school farmer, which is exactly the look I wanted,” says Phinney, who asked his friend Greg Gorman to photograph the label in black-and-white.

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