In what organisers called “a close second”, South African wine label Vinoneers’ Orpheus & The Raven, has just been announced as the runner-up in the international Drinks Business Awards for Best Design & Packaging for Wine. These awards have become the most authoritative and internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry. For the owners of Orpheus & The Raven, winemaker Etienne Louw and graphic designer Brenden Schwartz, owner of BRAVO Design in Cape Town, this global recognition is invaluable.


The announcement was made by Drinks Business’ editor-in-chief, Patrick Schmitt (MW), via a virtual ceremony on Thursday, 1 October. At approximately 02:55 into live broadcast, Schmitt makes the announcement for Best Design & Packaging for Wine, commenting on Orpheus & The Raven’s achievement: “They (the judges) wanted to (also) award a design that came a close-run second to this year’s winner (which was awarded to YG Design for Viña San Pedro Tayú 1865).”


“With this announcement in place, Orpheus & The Raven can now officially, but humbly, claim to be one of the most beautiful labels in the world of wine,” said an elated Brenden following the awards.

Just two friends wanting to do something different

With nothing in their arsenal except passion, creativity, energy, and a single wine vat, Brenden and Etienne started Vinoneers, the umbrella company for the brand Orpheus & The Raven in 2010. From the onset, this creative duo wanted to offer wine consumers something different, and so the seed for a wine label that would be “an assault on the senses” was born. The labels were designed by BRAVO design and offers stand-out details: they ‘wrap’ around the bottles in a seemingly continuous fold of energy, depicting detailed sketches inspired by the Greek play Orpheus in the Underworld. Each wine in the range features a dramatic hand-drawn, baroque-style sketch in the style of 16th century German artist Albrecht Dürer, with Orpheus and his sidekick, Raven, depicted on each.

Etienne, whose musical talent is represented with Orpheus and his lyre, says that the labels perfectly captures the winemaker’s journey as artist: “Every label in the range is a unique piece of art, and represents the processes required to develop a brand from concept to conclusion, and also the artful transformation from grape to wine.” To date, this artist’s portfolio includes a Chenin Blanc, the 42 Red Blend, Pinotage Nr. 7 and the Last Swansong Gewürztraminer, and can be purchased via online wine retailer,

No stranger to awards, Orpheus & The Raven labels have been the recipient of critical acclaim in the past: it won the Grand Prix award at the local 2018 Winemag Wine Label Design Awards, and three Gold Medals at its 2019 awards – more than any other producer.

In the spirit of Orpheus in the Underworld, which encourages its audience to “never look back”, Etienne and Brenden say they are exceptionally proud that SA wine and design can represent on the world stage and look forward to the future: “At the end of a tough year, Orpheus and his side-kick Raven played the final tune – and it was a happy one!”