Denomination – The Fit Between The Packaging And The Wine

Executive Summary:

Cowpunk is a new natural wine brand developed to be as sustainable as possible. Using organic fruit and no preservatives, dairy or animal products, these wines are both sustainably grown and made. In line with this, the packaging design is also eco-friendly with reusable bottles with a swing top closure, allowing consumers to refill their Cowpunk varietal at the winery and select stores. The labels, with their single coloured print and no additional foils or glossy varnishes, aligns to the brand’s personality and environmentally-sensitive credentials.

SDG’S (Sustainable Development Goal):

12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Reason Why/Motivation/Background:

Natural wines are wines in their original state: no preservatives added, no dairy or animal products added. Combined with using organic fruit from sustainably certified vineyards, you get a wine that is as natural, fresh and sustainable as can be. Natural wines are very popular amongst the hipster set: many have extremely left-of-field labels which can be pretty intimidating to the uninitiated. Our client wanted to tap into the hype of natural but create a range of natural wines not just for the hipsters: these wines were to be for a broader market, cool but not intimidating, and taking the sustainable benefits of this winemaking and growing method to the masses.

Project Description:

It was important that the brand persona and image married to the naturalness of the wine’s profile.

Cowpunk music is about being unvarnished, real, and lacking in “gloss” – very similar characteristics to the wine. So we called the brand Cowpunk to capture both earthy naturalness, combined with a touch of edginess.


The packaging also needed to align to the naturalness of the wine, and so we designed Cowpunk  packaging to be eco friendly with reusable bottles with a swing-top closure. In the next year, consumers will be able to refill their favourite Cowpunk varietal at the winery and in select stores. The labels, with their single coloured print with no additional foils or glossy varnishes, aligns to the brand’s personality and environmentally-sensitive credentials.


Cowpunk is the first refillable wine bottle to be sold in national accounts in Australia ie available to the general public nationally. It has started the conversation with lead influencers regarding the need not only to recycle glass, but to reuse.

At the moment, the best LCA for single use in wine is the 3 litre wine box. However by the time Cowpunk is refilled x6 times, it will beat any other LCA in wine.

Lessons Learned:

We needed to allow time for trialing of the wine with the swing top closure to ensure wine quality was not affected over a period of six months. This meant our launch was moved back to accommodate – frustrating but necessary in order to ensure the wine quality was maintained.

Next Steps:

Cowpunk will be rolling out refillable stations in select stores nationally as part of a trial.

Potential For Replication:

The bottles used are available off-the-shelf, and as reusability becomes more accepted by consumers, the Cowpunk model can be replicated by any brand.

Company Summary:

Denomination is a global design agency specializing in drinks branding and packaging design, and in particular advising clients on how to lessen their footprint in packaging. Denomination is a Climate Neutral certified business.

Sources of Information/Support:

Circuthon Consulting (LCA analysis)

Reloop & Zero Waste Europe, Utrecht University, 2020


Solution Assessment Report

Case Study Link

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