• Beverage Industry

New Zealand winemaker uses thermographic label technology


Chill Check labels activate when wine is at optimal drinking temperature

New Zealand winemaker Matua, Marlborough, New Zealand, is releasing the 2016 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé with new thermographic label technology. The Chill Check labels activate as a bottle is chilled to optimal drinking temperature, with the label’s features changing color.

Matua Chief Winemaker Greg Rowdon said in a statement that the idea is “all about enhancing freshness and drinkability, making it simple for people to recognize the best temperature to release and enhance flavors, without having to consult a confusing table or chart.”

The label features a snowflake symbol that appears when the bottle is optimally chilled, along with a color-changing Ta Moko symbol that darkens when the wine reaches its ideal temperature. In the Maori culture of New Zealand, the Ta Moko is a traditional tattoo of the face or body, sacred to the wearer, the company says. The label is a symbol of Matua’s New Zealand roots and the winery’s dedication to the nation’s landscape and heritage.

Extensive research trials confirmed the ideal drinking temperature for Sauvignon Blanc and other Matua wines, the company says. In addition to the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Chill Check labels also are featured on Matua’s Rosé, which will arrive in the United States later this summer. Each label is calibrated according to its corresponding varietal: Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé, for example, are at their aromatic and lively best at 45/46 degrees Fahrenheit. When chilled, the label retains its color for about 45 minutes, before returning to the initial label color. Chill it again and the label will once again change color.

“Matua has the distinction of being the first winery in New Zealand to produce Sauvignon Blanc, releasing its inaugural vintage in 1974,” Rowdon said. “Given our legacy for innovation, it seemed only fitting that we’d also be among the first in the wine industry to embrace this new thermographic label, enhancing consumer wine enjoyment and having a bit of fun.”

Napa, Calif.-based Treasury Wine Estates, a division of Treasury Wine Estates Ltd., owns and imports Matua Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé to the United States.

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