I had the honor of painting the label artwork for this year’s Oktoberfest wine from Ackerman Winery in Amana, Iowa. The winery, in business since 1956, is known for their sweet fruit wines and adventurous varieties. They describe 2020’s Oktoberfest as, “This white wine is light and sweet with a delicate honey glazed fruit finish. It has a slight warmth to it that is reminiscent of fall.”
The label celebrates the much-anticipated opening of Hotel Millwright in Amana this fall, which was built by restoring and remodeling some unused buildings of the Amana Woolen Mill (this 2018 article on KCRG.com has a nice summary of its background). To research the painting I got to go on location to the construction site for Hotel Millwright. I had to do some explaining about what I was doing there, then the architect gave me a tour of the historic building in the photo below. It will be an events center and beautifully appointed, keeping the feel of the mill.
The smokestack says a lot about the mill, so I started there. With feedback from my clients at the winery we developed the idea through sketch and watercolor study to the final painting. They envisioned pumpkins and cornstalks with the smokestack on the label for an Oktoberfest feeling.
(See my new Commissions page for more about the process of creating commissioned artwork.)