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John Schreiner
March 14, 2022 | John Schreiner - "Behind the Label"

"This winery opened in 2006 as Twisted Tree Vineyards. Four years later, proprietors Chris and Beata Tolley changed the name to the more dramatic Moon Curser. The drama carried through to labels evoking an earlier history when Osoyoos was centre for gold mining.

During the gold rush, American miners sought to smuggle gold back across the border in the dark of night without paying taxes or duties. The smugglers would curse the moon if it exposed their activities. On its back labels, Moon Curser puts these words in the mouth of a smuggler: “Damn you moon for lighting my run tonight. This gold is mine and no border agent is going to tax me.”

The labels, which mimic shadow and light, anchor Moon Curser and its wines in the history and the terroir of Osoyoos.  The pick, the mule, the saddle bags and the gold nuggets are references to the mining and smuggling on the last. Other elements on the labels are drawn from nature in the South Okanagan, such as ponderosa pines, deer, foxes and even small bats.

The labels are a fun and engaging way to reference the terroir which the winery exploits to grow varietals rarely grown elsewhere in the Okanagan, if at all. “We believe they thrive in our Osoyoos vineyards is because they are growing in the southernmost, hottest and sunniest place in all of the Okanagan,” Chris writes.

The varietals include Arneis, Carménère, Dolcetto, Tannat, Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional. “I love the diversity,” Chris says. “I love the affirmation that this valley is capable of doing a wide variety of wines.”"

Discover the inspiration and stories behind award-winning BC wine labels.


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Moon Curser: Brand Elements