by Lara Copeland, contributing editor

High above the Sonoma valley, a nearly 300-acre winery is spread across the western slope of the Mayacamas Mountain Range in California. Here, distinctive wines are crafted to represent the unique appeal of the property. Recently, the winery needed a high-end wine box to launch its new wine branding. For this job, Trends Presentation Products, Washington, Missouri, was called upon to create a sophisticated box to hold a bottle of wine as well as promotional material for the product.

Trends makes most of its boxes by hand, so “we tend to cater to the higher-end specialty boxes that run under 3,000 quantity per order,” David Inman, sales manager at Trends, explained. The winery wanted the packaging to represent luxury and elegance. The order quantity was set for 2,000 boxes, and the project took six months from start to finish – this includes everything from the initial quote, sampling materials, testing various prototypes, all the way through to the final production.

The 16.5×5.5″ box and lid are covered on the outside with a synthetic leather material called Alpha Aston Brown from Ecological Fibers. Inman relayed that this was not a stock color, and the material had to be brought in from overseas. “This particular material foil stamped very well,” he said. The inside collar material was made from Metal X Hammered Copper from Neenah. “The color of the material matched API’s copper foil that was used to foil stamp on the lid,” he added.

Each wine box, hand-wrapped and assembled, was constructed out of 100 pt. chipboard. The lid and the base both were diecut and then taped together before wrapping the box in the custom material. The piece of foam on the interior also was diecut and then glued inside the box and covered in a black cloth material. This is what cradled the wine bottle.

“It provided a nice presentation when the lid was removed, and the wine bottle was displayed,” Inman said. The inside of the lid showcased a wrapped and diecut French panel designed to hold an envelope containing product information. The envelope fit snugly in the diecut area underneath the lid and could be removed easily by a ribbon pull.

The winery’s logo is a hexadecagon (16-sided polygon) made of uppercase letter Rs. “This graphic design was created by the customer with Trends’ own graphic artist coordinating the best layout of the graphics on the box,” Inman said.

Once the concept and final sizes were determined, Trends created and supplied the art templates for the project. The box involved three positioned stampings, with one position on the lid foil stamped with the metallic copper foil and two blind deboss positions on the side of the box, according to Inman.

“Since the customer really wanted a deboss look and feel, we had to do the stamping after the material was wrapped around the box,” he said. This required a special fixture to be used inside the box to hold it in place when debossing the logos onto the box. A Franklin press model #8200 had just enough capacity to complete all the stamping.

Once the concept and design of the box were set, the staff at Trends ran with it. “We have a great crew here at Trends that really works hard to ensure that quality is kept consistently throughout the project,” Inman stressed. Even when facing the task of stamping the logos on the box, the team came together and rose to the challenge.

“Because there were three positions to hit, and we had to do the stamping after construction of the box, there was little room for error throughout the stamping process,” he confirmed. Essentially, the entire cost of the box was in before stamping, so the team had to guarantee each hit was done correctly. To do this, they created and used a fixture that was placed inside the box when stamping the blind deboss logos on the sides of the box. From there, Inman said it took time and patience to ensure each hit was centered properly and left a good impression.

“There was a total of 6,000 separate hits on the 2,000-quantity order,” he explained.

Inman said the project was a huge success: “We ended up shipping 22 skids out to California – each wine box was packed in its own shipping carton to ensure maximum protection.”

Most importantly, everything was delivered on time and made it safely.

“There is no better feeling – after completing a big project and all is paid, made and delivered – knowing the customer was thrilled with the end result,” Inman exclaimed. He said this energizes the whole team and reinforces the company’s commitment to supplying top-quality products.