Unexpected Wine

Ascaïr – Légende du Rhône

“The more original, impudent and bold our wine looks, the more it will perform! You have carte blanche”. This was Unexpected Wine’s brief to FutureBrand. Unexpected Wine is a young French wine importer, distributor and creator. In 2018-19, they decided to launch a new brand, with the help of FutureBrand, made of one Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge and one Cotes du Rhône White.

The Challenge

There were three challenges at the heart of this project. Firstly, the new brand needed to capitalise on the product’s origin: Côtes-du-Rhône. Secondly, it had to break the wine market stereotypes and develop a bold packaging identity that not only tells the wines organoleptic profile but also the senses of the consumer, and finally, develop a strong brand vocabulary that in itself narrates a story.

The Solution

We dug deep into the world of wine and the Cotes du Rhône soil and discovered the foundation of a fantastic story: the Tarasque Legend. Forged by the Tarasquaïres, this legend is celebrated every year in Provence. It comes from the middle ages and tells the story of a mysterious beast living in the Rhône river. The Tarasque was described in many ambiguous ways: a chimera, part land animal, part fish… No one ever agrees on a clear description. This story is the foundation of the new brand: ASCAÏR.

Like ASCAÏR, everybody has a different interpretation or perception of the story of the Tarasque. We were inspired by this legend to create two illustrations embodying the beast’s approximative portrait and each wine personality, in order to help people imagine ASCAÏR’s taste based on what they see and feel through their senses.

Specific attention is paid to the wine-label which is textured and scattered with embossed areas. The individual's experience is completed using touch, sight and taste - delivering a unique interpretation every time.

The Reaction

"Describing a wine is like describing a cloud, it’s all about perceptions." ASCAÏR does exactly that, and it does it so well that the first sales were done on label design only, even before the wine was produced.

ASCAÏR was commercially released with a first production run of 10,000 bottles in September 2018 and distributed in France (Paris, Paca region and Southwest of France).

"ASCAÏR has exceeded our expectations in terms of sales, it's the result of a perfect balance between all the ingredients of our marketing mix, mainly driven by the design of our labels. Imagine, we even had to improve the quality level of our wine and increase our target price in order to keep coherence with our packaging design”, the founders said.