RHOUS WINERY

 
It’s not often that we see a real-life example of love overcoming the odds and leading to business growth in a highly competitive market.
 
The Tamiolakis winery was already enjoying recognition in Crete when they contacted us, but it was facing fierce competition. At the time, the second generation of passionate winemakers was about to take on the mantle of running the family business.

The two young winemakers, Maria Tamiolakis and Dimitris Mansolas, wanted the branding and labels to reflect their passion of following your purpose, traveling the world and endless exploration in winemaking. Maria studied winemaking in France, yet she had always known that she would return to her birthplace of Crete to work in her family’s business. Dimitris’s passion for making wine was ignited in the north of Greece, and his path took him to Bordeaux where he met Maria, before he too, eventually arrived in Crete.
 
Our task was daunting.
We were to rebrand a winery already known to some, with the purpose of increasing sales, renown, and recognition, while telling a story that reflected the values of the two up and coming winemakers. Their passion for experimenting and the continued search for growth and creativity in winemaking inspired us in our search for the name that would resonate with their story:
 
Rhous, the ancient Greek word for flow and the continuous progression of things.
 
To visualize this concept and to illustrate the 15-year history of the winery, we used the characteristic ligature ȣ of the Greek letters o and u.
We designed the labels of the wines to tell the stories of the two young winemakers who had met each other while following their life’s purpose.


These “flows” are symbolized by the stories of explorers who’ve left their mark on history.

Our challenge was to identify explorers that would not only tell their own stories but could also represent Dimitris’s and Maria’s paths, as well as their convergence, without overshadowing the enterprising winemakers or drawing negative comparisons. To lend authority to our illustrations, we looked to the awe-inspiring effect of statues and chose to make use of a characteristic illustration technique to visualize this concept in a modern way, while maintaining a connection with brave, bold men and women of the past.
Rhous White is symbolic of Dimitris’s path from north to south. To tell this story, we chose Captain James Cook, one of the first explorers to cross the Antarctic circle.
 
  • Rhous Rose symbolizes Maria’s path from east to west and back. And is told through the story of Jeanne Baret, the first woman (while disguised as a man) to circumnavigate the globe.
  • Rhous Red tells the story of Martin and Osa Johnson, an American couple who studied East and Central Africa, and the South Pacific Islands. This symbolizes the coming together of Maria’s and Dimitris’s paths from Bordeaux to Houdetsi, as well as their passion for exploring the qualities of indigenous varieties, and the expression of international ones in the unique terrain of Crete.
One might think that rebranding a "known" winery and taking it in a completely different direction seems counterintuitive, but sometimes you have to hold fast to your vision, despite the heavy burden of the risk that decision brings. We left no stone unturned and explored every available avenue to ensure the creation of a recognizable brand, appealing designs, and business growth.

As they say, true love conquers all. The Rhous winery increased its sales by 30% in Greece and by 100% abroad, penetrating seven new markets, just a couple of months after the rebranding.

The labels of the remaining sub-brands of the winery, Skipper,Ahinos and Ekti Ekdossi, are applications of the new corporate identity.


*Nominated for a 2016 Ermis Awards