A Great Washington State Winery Gets a New Look: L’Ecole No. 41

ecoleWe’ve always loved the wines made by L’Ecole No. 41, a premium winery in Walla Walla, Washington. I’ve reviewed their wines before: check out this post about a  really wonderful Bordeaux-style blend called L’Ecole No. 41 Perigee 2007.

But I could never figure out the winery name.

So here’s the story: the area was settled back in the early 18oo’s by French-Canadians, who grew grapes and made wine. The winery’s original owners, Jean and Baker Ferguson, gave their winery a French name in homage to the area’s earliest settlers, and while we don’t know if the French Canadians’ wine was any good, it still makes a good story.

For those who don’t know their French, “L’Ecole” means “the school,” and sure enough, the winery is located in an old schoolhouse. So the original label design for L’Ecole No. 41 was a schoolhouse drawn in a colorful, very child-like hand.ecole

Some said it was charming, while others said it was hokey. And as L’Ecole’s wines gained high ratings and international acclaim, I think the label began to seem just a little bit too simple.

So someone at this family-owned winery finally decided it was time for a change. They’ve announced that they’ll debut a brand new label on April 1 of 2001.

But we have a sneak preview.

We think their new label is a winner. It still acknowledges the roots and heritage of the winery, while using graphics that are classic and elegant. As a retailer, I know that labels can influence people to buy — or not buy — any bottle. In this case,  I think L’Ecole’s new label will influence more people to buy a wine that seriously deserves to be bought.

You’ll probably continue to see the old label for a while, an I’d encourage you to buy a bottle and give it a try.  I know I wasn’t disappointed. Cheers!

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