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An email from Rosemary Baldasso was in the in-box this morning. Who she? Only one of the proud owners of Protero Wines that I reviewed on Monday!

Love it when retailers or producers take the trouble to comment on a scribble. It would seem that sadly the importer of their wines in the UK abruptly closed-shop recently (hence perhaps the marvellous offer from Cooden Cellars on the two wines - they 'normally' retail at £17.99 a bottle) so the wines are not currently available.

The thrust of the email though was in answer to my throw-away comment on the understated packaging. I'm sure Rosemary will not object to repeating it here as its a lovely little insight into the thought processes behind the packaging.

I was alerted about your review by a gentleman in Sydney, who would like to try some of these wines. Let me thank you sincerely for such a wonderful review. Frank and I are humbled by your kind words. We knew we had a good wine, just didn't realise how good. It is a pity that our agent in London is no longer in business. I am in discussions at present with someone looking to import our wines, but progress is slow and I need to be patient.

As for the comment on our packaging we appreciate the feed back. Perhaps a little explanation will help you understand the philosophy behind the label. A lot of time and effort was invested in the design. We started by studying what was on the shelves and when one stands back and looks closely, not many labels stood out and most were difficult to read.

So, we set about keeping it simple and making it easy to read and hopefully easy to remember. Protero is the name, Gumeracha is the Aboriginal name for the little township our vineyard is in, the name of the variety of grape comes next and then the region our vineyard is in. All our labels are the same for all our wines, to keep consistency, so, again it helps the label to become recognizable. Whether we are achieving this or not remains to be seen, in the meantime we know that this label will not appeal to everybody, that's life, but we know what has gone into its design.

Pick up the bottle and feel the texture on the paper and the gentle embossing of the name, study its simplicity, place it in a row with other labels, stand back and observe."

The photograph is not one of mine but taken from the Protero Website.

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The label is a classic and beautifully designed.

I have to say, when I read your original post I didn't even notice your comment about the packaging (just fired the link off straight away to mum and dad in Adelaide - telling them to buy some!).

I am quite a fan of clean, simple packaging. I bet their wines do stand out on a shelf, and I think consistency across the brand is very important. Sometimes it's the simple things that require the most thought!

As I said in my reply to Rosemary I didn't really give the packaging that much attention; so intent was I to try the contents.

But I can certainly imagine that the shelf presence would be great. The bottles went for recycling several days ago so I cant examine or check the embossed lettering. Sorry Rosemary!

As a retailer of this wine the only criticism I would pass on from my customers is that they often didn't notice where it says 'Viognier' or 'Chardonnay' and would regularly get mixed up and think they were buying all of one sort.

If Protero were to move these words below the word Gumeracha I think it would make it clearer for the consumer.

I do agree that the wines stood out on the shelf though! Although we did have to talk the wine up as consumers weren't sure, the bottles are almost too plain!

However once they'd tried it they always, without fail, came back for more. Testament to the 'never judge a book by its cover' saying.

Protero wines are a secret still, known only to a select few and look set to become the next big 'cult' wine producer out of Australia, but known for their whites, which is a wonderfully refreshing change from all the reds.

Noon Winery, Two Hands, Mollydooker, Mitolo... all brilliant and 'cult' wineries, but all known mainly for their reds. Add Protero to that list but as the white antidote!

Keep up the brilliant work Protero, and good luck with finding a new importer into the UK.

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