New organic wine Melea creates a buzz
Organic wine sales continue to grow, especially in the EU, and are expected to reach an annual volume of 87.5million cases in 2022. With the largest area of organic land under vine in the world, Spain is well placed to meet this demand.
As we are based in Madrid, we’ve been keeping a very close watch on the quality of organic wines from various Spanish DOs, and we’ve finally found a wine that we are happy to put our name on, at the right price point and with outstanding packaging designed by award-winning label designer, Pablo Guerrero.
Three members of the Long family have been involved in the creation of the new Melea range: William Long, who tasted his way round 100s of samples of organic wines from across Spain before he was sure that he had the right ones, William’s wife, Barbara, a mixed-media artist, who stitched together the bee motif used on the labels from recycled threads, and Freddie Long, his son, who managed the design process and launch. A true labour of love.
William explains why the project has taken so long: “We’ve been working on Melea for over a year, as we did not want to launch until we were absolutely certain that we had the best possible wines at the right price point. Spain has more organically cultivated vineyards than anywhere else in the world, but finding the right partner winery for this project took a lot of research. We believe that this area of Cuenca offers exceptional quality, with the grapevines planted in 1999 at more than 600m on poor sand-clay soils, giving very low yields and concentrated fruit flavours in the wines, and cold nights helping to preserve freshness.”
Freddie explains why the name was chosen: “Once we decided that there was a gap in the market for an attractively packaged and high quality range of organic wines from Spain, my first task was to find the an original and attractive name that reflects the wine’s essence. We eventually hit upon Melea because it is a subgenus of bee and it sounds, literally, mellifluous. Bees not only act as important pollinators, they also carry natural yeasts used to ferment wine.”
Barbara explains the creative process: “This project is very dear to my heart, as I’ve been an environmental campaigner for decades and used to be on the board of directors for Friends of the Earth. As such, I was keen to be even more directly involved in the design of the label than usual. As well as working as a visual artist, I am also an art therapist so the act of healing and repair is increasingly reflected in my work where I use recycled materials that I stitch and darn together. Given that by producing and marketing organic wines we are making small steps towards healing and preserving the environment, and encouraging consumers to do the same, I felt it was important that this was reflected in the label in as an attractive way as possible. Using original images of bees from our designers, Studio Pablo Guerrero, I worked over the image on gauze bandages using old threads from my mother and sister to create what I hope are images that speak of healing and reparation whist at the same time being visually interesting.”
This limited edition range of organic, vegan wines inspired by the rare bee Anthophora Melea includes a white – a blend of Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc – and a Tempranillo red. They are sourced from dry-farmed vines in the Cuenca area, which are traditionally managed without the use of toxic chemicals that can harm bees, and fermented using the natural yeasts transported around the vineyard by local insects.
If you don’t yet offer several organic wines in your range, then it makes financial sense to list more, as a recent IWSR report from 2018 found that consumers in the UK pay an average of 38% more for a bottle of organic versus non-organic wine. Red wine accounts for 60% of sales, versus 40% for white/rosé.
The packaging of the Melea range has been carefully designed to appeal to the largest segment of organic wine consumers – females. The handcrafted design taps into the growth in crafts such as knitting and crocheting as trends among urban millennials (the key market for organic wines in the USA and UK) as well as older females (in Germany, the average organic wine buyer is also female but usually aged over 50).
Contact us for more information on this exciting limited edition range.