Creating a Wine Label: Adelsheim's 2021 Artist Series Rosé

Catherine Freshley rose painting and bottles

I love good food and drink and I love supporting and working with other creative, small businesses. So, when Adelsheim Vineyard – which was founded 50 years ago and is one of the wineries that helped establish Oregon’s Willamette Valley as a premiere wine-growing and making region – asked me to work on a label with them, I was ecstatic.

Of course, the label is important on every bottle of wine, but at Adelsheim, the labels carry special significance. For decades, Adelsheim’s labels featured art by Ginny Adelsheim, who founded the winery with her husband, David.

Adelsheim’s “Artist Series” Rosé,” now in it’s third vintage, is a nod to that artistic heritage.

“Each year, our Willamette Valley Rosé features artwork by a talented, local artist who shares our belief that to create something great, you must push boundaries and take risks,” the winery states.

Catherine Freshley Adelsheim label

Our label artwork project started with an in-depth tour of Adelsheim’s multiple vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains (about 45 minutes south of Portland) led by the assistant vineyard manager.

Catherine Freshley vineyard

We started in the afternoon, and I hung around until evening, so I could watch the sunset from the top of the Quarter Mile Lane Vineyard.

Catherine Freshley evening view

I took hundreds of inspiration photos and sketched the sunset from the top of the vineyard. 

Catherine Freshley vineyard evening

Back in my studio, I sketched and painted dozens more ideas for the label – some very representative of the vineyards’ physical landscapes and some more abstract.

Catherine Freshley sketchbook


Catherine Freshley sunset vineyard
Catherine Freshley sketchbook and markers

Conveying the feeling of Adelsheim was important to me and to the marketing team. And, we wanted something unique – something that wouldn’t look like other bottles on the shelf. 

Catherine Freshley pink and yellow

The result was a painting that shows the Chehalem Mountains’ signature rolling hills, the blue sky and billowy clouds of a late-summer day, and the stop-you-in-your-tracks vibrance of the plants that bloom around Adelsheim’s tasting room in the spring.


The image below is the final, 30"x30" label art painting. Adelsheim purchased the painting for their permanent collection and it hangs in their tasting room, along with the paintings that were featured on previous years' Artist Series Rosé labels.
Catherine Freshley Rose label
Oh and the wine? The back of the label says, “This refreshing, dry Rosé was made from 100% Pinot noir grapes, grown on LIVE certified sustainable vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Aromas of fresh strawberry and white peach lead into a smooth, well-textured palate with structure and bright acidity. Enjoy this wine any day of the week.”
Catherine Freshley rose and tacos

Last night, my husband and I found the rosé to be the perfect accompaniment to our homemade salmon tacos with pineapple-chile salsa and a two-hour Zoom date with far-flung friends. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.