The Modernist wine in our Gallery collection has beaten over 1400 entries to win a Gold Medal for its artwork at the 2023 Royal Queensland Wine Awards. The vibrant design on this contemporary shiraz, malbec and grenache blend captured the judges’ attention for its unique expression of the merging of winemaking, artistry and the local environment.

The Swan Valley vineyard is renowned for its heritage-listed jacaranda trees, the inspiration behind this award-winning design.

Nikola Estate chief winemaker, Damian Hutton, said the award is unexpected recognition for the effort that went into creating the label.

“Winemaking is an art; I think of it as a human’s creativity in a bottle,” he said. “I wanted to create a modern wine drawing on the unique character of the different regions, varying temperatures and grape varieties. This modern label reflects the lifestyle, colour and freedom of where it was produced.”

The designer, family friend Yoko Luscher, hand-cut flowers modelled on the jacaranda blooms, to create a striking collage, which was then digitally reproduced using different colour palettes.

The range of vibrant labels are now the stand-out signature branding for the Gallery series that includes the Modernist. This wine is encapsulated in one simple sentence on its back label: Innovation, experimentation, with an emphasis on technique and process. 

“It’s the wild child of the range and the first time we have shown the wine,” said Hutton.  “We only finished bottling it a month before the Queensland awards, so we are thrilled that it’s been recognised for the artistry both inside and outside the bottle.”

According to judge, Beth Mitchell, the Modernist triumphed as a wine label that masterfully intertwined winemaking, artistry, and its environment.

“The hand-cut impressionist collage showcases the vineyard's jacaranda, blending contemporary flair with tradition. The winemaker let the label's art speak, while the description on the rear encapsulates both the wine and the art, merging them seamlessly.”

The Modernist also won a Bronze medal in the Shiraz Blends 2022 & 2021 class.