After several rounds of competition and public voting, a winner has emerged for the 2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau artist label contest.
Each year the wine brand picks a new artist to feature on bottles of the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau. Last year the chosen piece was from Nashville, TN-native Chloé Meyer.
Over 600 pieces were entered in 2019, representing artists from across the country. Ultimately, the winner was native Texan Laura Runge, for her piece Joyous Crush.
For her efforts, Runge takes home a cash grant and the honor of having her work debut on the label of over one million bottles of Duboeuf’s 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé, when the wines release on the third Thursday of November (November 21 in 2019).
“I am absolutely ecstatic!” says Runge. “I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity, because it will afford my work a level of exposure I might not get otherwise. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime honor and truly a dream come true!”
Her painting is an interpretation of the celebratory feeling that Beaujolais Nouveau embodies, the company says. She used colors with fruit names such as grape, tangerine, peach and cranberry, to demonstrate her interpretation of the harvest in France, with deep pinkish-red and purple tones to mimic the colors of the wine, the company says, as well as greens and blues to reflect the earth and sky.
“I wanted to create a festive piece that would have the look and feel of celebration,” says Runge. “There is a depiction of the wine itself, surrounded by subtle bursts of confetti to evoke that joyous feel.”
Now in its third year, the Georges Duboeuf Artist Label Competition was created to support the creativity of emerging artists all over the U.S. “Our family has long been avid supporters of the arts, having worked with many artists over the last 40-plus years to create our iconic labels and limited-edition posters,” says Franck Duboeuf, CEO of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. “Hosting this program has been almost as exciting for us as it is for the artists — it’s a great joy for us to see who the public selects each year as the winner.”
Of all the entries submitted online via the competition’s website, 15 were selected as finalists by a combination of public vote and input from a panel of winery representatives and art experts. The finalists were announced on April 15, followed by a 15-day period of public voting. Social media played an important role: finalists shared their submissions on their own accounts, garnering support from local residents, fellow artists, friends and family. With over 6,000 total votes and thousands of likes and comments on social media, the 2019 competition saw the highest level of engagement yet, the company says.
“We’re extremely pleased that this competition has grown so much in popularity over the past three years, particularly with younger consumers who are a key component of Beaujolais Nouveau’s continuing sales growth,” explains Dennis Kreps, co-owner with his father, Stephen D. Kreps, of Quintessential, the exclusive importer of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf in the U.S. “Not only is the contest generating trade, media and consumer excitement and interest in Beaujolais Nouveau well before the wine’s actual launch in November, but the high level of social media engagement we have seen demonstrates that it really resonates with the target audience’s interests and passions.”
The tradition of Nouveau began when the winemakers and growers of the Beaujolais region celebrated the end of harvest with a young wine that was initially only produced for local consumption. Georges Duboeuf was the first to bring that local custom to wine-lovers outside of the region, creating a worldwide phenomenon. Bottled six-to-eight weeks after harvest, Beaujolais Nouveau is known as fresh, fruity and vibrant. It is often considered to be an indicator of the quality of the vintage, and it is best served with a light chill.