• What are designer wines?

    Sparks will jump out of more than one when trying to understand what designer wines are. To explain it, we have prepared this article that we hope will answer and solve your questions. But before giving the solution to the puzzle, let’s start at the beginning by defining the basic concepts…

    What is design?

    “Design” is, according to the Real Academia Española, a line, sketch or plan that outlines and shapes a project. These “designs” delimit the shape, size, color… of the product or space, but they can also refer to characteristics of services, programs, spaces, etc. With these considerations, a resulting definition of “design” could be that of a mental process that encompasses knowledge, techniques and creativity, with the purpose of projecting objects or works destined for serial production with useful and/or aesthetic purposes.

    Etymologically, it comes from the Italian “disegno” which translates as “drawing” but also means “that which is to come”. It would be a graphic vision of the future, thus reflecting thinking about alternatives that provide a solution to a problem in graphic support. Despite the fact that there are voices that consider it an artistic process, many other detractors defend that it should not be considered that way because it is a process with a functional vocation within a specific social context above aesthetic or symbolic inclinations.

    The designer and his working method

    The designer is the person responsible for combining knowledge, technique and creativity to find a functional solution to a problem in society. As we have seen, although he/she is often classified as an artist because of their use of creativity, the artist seeks to move or convey emotion, while the designer has a clear functional vocation. More than art, this incessant search for solutions and answers brings the designer closer to the figure of the scientist or the philosopher.

    The design activity is usually supported by a work method that is developed in 4 phases:

    1. Empirical analysis: through the senses, both of the problem and the environment in which it develops in order to detect the need. This is the time to ask questions like what, how, why, when, how much, who, for what, for whom, where, etc.
    2. Evaluation: in order to prioritize, order and categorize both the information collected and the needs detected.
    3. Projecting: this is the time to propose a solution to the problem through work techniques linked to the discipline, such as models and drawings that reflect the knowledge but also the creativity of the designer.
    4. Prototype: the design is carried out in a first prototype that serves to corroborate its functionality and detect possible errors that could have been overlooked.

    Design applications

    The concept behind designer wines is new, but historically design has been applied to multiple disciplines, some of which have been indispensable for building civilization as we know it, remaining from its origin and evolving with the history of mankind. Some of the most prominent are architectural design, fashion design, and automotive design.

    Architectural design

    From the beginning, humanity required caves that served as shelter against inclement weather, as a refuge from the threat of other species and as a retreat for the tribe. Evolution led to the invention of small constructions and later large buildings. Architectural design has the purpose of satisfying the needs of human beings in the search for habitable spaces that combine the aesthetic, functional and technological, historically relying on analogies with nature, metaphors, religious implications, etc.

    Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

    Fashion design

    Along with the need to find a safe place came the need to protect oneself from the cold and with it the first clothes. Fashion design represents the sophistication of this need, designing and making clothes, garments and accessories based on social and cultural influences in specific historical periods. Fashion is considered a cultural expression with great artistic weight, which took a stylistic leap in the 20th century thanks to names like Dolce & Gabanna, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier or Carolina Herrera.

    Donatella Versace and the Golden Girls

    Automotive design

    Currently, there are more than 1.2 billion cars in circulation in the world. Automotive design appeared as the sophistication of the sector grew but also to drive technological advancement. Its practice requires a large team of professionals and technicians who work on two main aspects: interior design, where ergonomics and comfort prevail; and the exterior design, where aerodynamics are fundamentally taken into account.

    Lexus LF-Z concept car

    What are designer wines?

    Design in the wine world mainly refers to external aspects such as the bottle, the name, the label or the packaging that will accompany the wine, all with the aim of making the final consumer fall in love. However, being these essential elements in the launch of a new wine, they can never ignore the most important thing, what we find when uncorking the bottle: the wine itself.

    When we talk about designer wines, we transfer to the world of wine this mental and creative process that is to design, linked to the knowledge and technique of a science such as oenology; we are working on something much deeper than an attractive image. We are making designer wines, conceptualized from their origin in order to satisfy a specific need or problem of a defined audience.

    Analema Rosat de l’alba 2020

    Since 2010 making designer wines

    The elegant, complex and sophisticated wine for a romantic evening; the ideal sparkling wine that makes a celebration a special gastronomic experience; the easy-to-drink wine suitable for the most casual at a barbecue… There is a functional and service vocation in each bottle we make. For this reason, our wines are designer wines, because in addition to being elaborated, they are thought and designed from their origin in order to satisfy the needs and desires of our customers, wine lovers.

  • Wine DSGn Thinking®, a unique method

    Design Thinking is a unique method that puts the consumer and user at the center of the product and service development process. Companies like Zara, Apple or Google use it to generate innovative ideas that solve problems and consumer needs. Its applicability is limited only by our own imagination.

    Design Thinking is a process that combines the creative freedom and sensitivity of people within a work team, relying on industrial design processes. Its main characteristics are the following:

    1. The use of empathy: this human quality serves to understand the wishes, problems and needs of the users of products and services, in order to satisfy them.
    2. Teamwork: the ideas, points of view, experiences, interpretations and internal mechanisms of every human being adds up in this process.
    3. Testing: through the generation of prototypes, since every idea must be validated before it is launched to the market.

    At ANTIGVA we decided to transfer this methodology to the world of wine, using it to make wines that we call ‘designed’, since they are actually designed and made in order to satisfy the wishes and desires of wine lovers around the world. We would call it Wine DSGn Thinking®.

    It was through the demand of one of our main importers that we understood that the wishes of those who love wine cannot be conditioned by the limitations of their trusted winery. If we wanted to keep our friend’s love, we had to turn something impossible, to something possible. And we did it by adapting Design Thinking to our business, in 5 phases:

    1. We empathize with his needs and desires. Through active listening, putting ourselves in his shoes, we understood his demand…
    2. … To elaborate a definition that would compile all the information that he had transmitted to us, and consequently the characteristics of the wine he had imagined…
    3. We gathered ideas as a team, those that could bring us closer to the solution we were looking for, both in the what’s and the how’s.
    4. And we got into work. We searched, found, negotiated, collaborated, until we gathered all the necessary elements and synergies with agronomists, oenologists and winemakers that would allow us to prototype the desired wine.
    5. With the first production still unlabeled, we set out to meet our client for the testing phase, also know among us as “tasting”. This was the most rewarding moment, and in which we were able to consider the path traveled as a success.

    Here we begin a period of reflection that we used to fine-tune the methodology. From the innovation in industrial design, we had found a work process that we could adapt to our activity. The design and winemaking of the wines we imagined, that would be impossible for us to make with our land and vineyards, could become a reality.

    Since then, it has been our desire to make this unique method that we call Wine DSGn Thinking® grow to share it with you and every wine lover around the world, making it the most democratic way to produce, but also to enjoy and celebrate the world of wine.

  • Jancis Robinson shatters 10 myths of the world of wine

    When was the last time a sommelier recommended a white wine to pair with a beef chop?

    The answer may probably be never.

    The world of wine is full of false myths. Today we bring you from the hand of Jancis Robinson, the planet’s main prescriber, and her book “Wine Expert in 24 Hours”, the 10 false myths about the world of wine that you should know.

    1. Red for meat, white for fish

    There are white wines that pair perfectly with chicken, pork or mild stews, and red wines that go well with fish or salads. How it is cooked is as important as the raw material when choosing the wine.

    2. European wines are better than American

    Wine does not understand continents. The main thing is to try it yourself.

    3. The more expensive the better

    There are really special elaborations and fabulous vintages that increase the price. But sometimes it’s about a luxury brand positioning, gained over the years.

    4. Red wine has a higher alcohol content that white

    Although this was so originally, the current pace of life has led wineries to look for alternatives that allow you to have a glass of wine between meals, before continuing the day. This is how the 37.5 cl bottles and low alcohol red wines were born.

    5. The heavier the bottle, the better

    Thick glass is a tool used to raise the price, but not the value of wine. Except for sparkling wines, which need a thick glass to withstand the pressure derived from the second fermentation.

    6. The bigger the slit, the better

    The indentation at the base of the bottle serves for stability and helps build up sediment, and even to serve the wine with style. But it is not related to the quality of the wine.

    7. Rosé wine is for women

    Wine does not understand genres either.

    8. In restaurants, wine is given to taste to see if it’s liked

    Wine is given to taste in a restaurant to see if it suffers from TCA, popularly known as ‘cork smell’. But a self-respecting sommelier would detect it as soon as he opened the bottle, and would never offer it if it was the case.

    9. Wine needs aeration

    This is not the case with young wines or sparkling wines, which are enjoyed instantly. If it is a long-aging wine, this is different.

    10. Wine improves with time

    Young wines, rosé wines and white wines lose expressiveness over time. These are made for short-term consumption. As for aged wines, it is advisable to seek advice and assess whether it is worth the wait. Neither wines nor people are made to last forever.

    As for the beef chop, it can be paired with a full-bodied white wine, citrus aromas and exotic fruits, which is rich and mineral in the mouth. An Arretxea Hegoxuri from Irulegi would be an excellent choice, worthy of a true prescriber!