Ackley Beverage Group

Cataclysm Wine Brand & Packaging

The Challenge

Our friends and partners at Ackley Beverage Group brought us in to develop a new Washington wine brand. Cataclysm is sourced from the Columbia Valley and named for the massive ice age floods that shaped it into a world class wine region. The challenge was to design a brand that brought together ancient geology with a modern winemaking vision, and create a story and a package that would represent something relevant and appealing to today’s savvy wine drinker.

The Outcome

We explored a range of thematic territories, but quickly focused on the parallel between the seasonal cycle of winemaking and the longer cycles that shape the landscape. Our designs employed dramatic illustrations that merged the human world with the natural world, evoking a sense of destruction and rebirth, and the need to accept change. The result is strikingly modern, but classic.

Silver Medal Winner: Packaging Design
2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Brand Story

The Columbia Valley was carved by cataclysmic ice age floods that tore across the Pacific Northwest, transforming the landscape, and blanketing the valleys with silt carried from hundreds of miles away. But within the awesome chaos of nature, there is a deeper order and an opportunity for new life to take root, and from that ancient upheaval, one of the modern world’s most exciting wine regions was born. Cataclysm pays homage to the unique forces that shape and reshape the earth beneath our feet. Like nature, it balances intensity with grace, and reminds us that our world is in a constant state of reinvention.

The series of original illustrations by Caroline Choi are intentionally provocative, designed to speak to a wine consumer that wants a deeper connection with the bottles they buy.

Congrats to the Ackley team: The Seattle Times named Cataclysm’s 2019 Cab as one of the Northwest’s 20 best wines for under $20. (And we’re proud to note that they chose our label as the key art for the story!)