Blues Cuvée Gallery
History of the Blues Cuvée artist series
The story of what inspired the Blues Cuvée label begins of course with wine.
In the late 1980s I began to experiment with the relatively rare Bordeaux grape varietal, Cabernet Franc, as a blending component for the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon I was producing for The Gainey Vineyard. The first wines were good but not spectacular but made a positive contribution to the wines they were blended into.
However, in 1990 I produced a Cabernet Franc from the Buttonwood vineyard which was far and away the best Cabernet Franc that I had produced. In fact it was perhaps even better than the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that were going to receive it. Feeling that I had to share my excitement about this superb wine with the public I decided to bottle a small quantity of this Cabernet Franc alone, for both the Gainey and Longoria labels.
As good as the wine was, many wine buyers were hesitant to support the wine, saying that they didn’t have many people coming in asking for a Cabernet Franc. Restauranteurs explained that they didn’t have a category for Cabernet Franc on their wine list.
Though I felt disillusioned about the lackluster response to this new wine, I felt too strongly about the potential of this noble grape in our area, and I vowed to continue bottling it. However, I began to consider changing the package to one that would be so attractive that it would overcome the negativity of buyers and consumers.
One day the idea came to me to have the label have something to do with the "blues" a genre of music I had come to love since my high school days. Next came the name "Blues Cuvée". Finally, I searched art galleries and art shows for an artist that I felt had a style that would best capture the feeling of the blues.
I was very fortunate to find our first artist Mary Kuder, a fledgling artist from Mill Valley. She definitely set the standard for the quality of art that we wanted for the Blues Cuvée artist series.
We look forward to the process of selecting a new artist every two years and enjoy the collaboration of liquid art with that of visual art.
You will see the Blues Cuvée art labels with a brief background of each artist. Lithographs on archival paper for all of our labels are available from our tasting room or click here to purchase directly from our web store.