Behind the Label: Chris Del Degan of Wondermatter

Behind the Label: Chris Del Degan of Wondermatter

  • Harvest To Bottle

You might have noticed that the newest wine releases from Traynor have a fresh look and feel — a playful touch of whimsy and fun brought to life on the labels. When we asked Mike what inspired this change he said we should reach out to the artist herself, County local Chris Del Degan, owner and creative director at Wondermatter. She has been working with Traynor since the spring of 2019 when Mike approached her to do a refresh of the brand in celebration of their 10 Year Anniversary and has been a part of the team ever since. 

Inspiration behind the labels
Chris told us that the inspiration behind the newest labels were quite simply the young family behind the winery — always full of fresh ideas and a strong sense of lightheartedness. She strongly believes that branding should convey every single expression of the business, from hiring your team, to copywriting, and design. Revamping the core line of Traynor’s labels was an opportunity to share more joy and playfulness to the world, an aesthetic that truly reflects how they are as a winery, but also as people. 

Bringing the vision to life
When we asked how involved Mike, owner and winemaker, is during the process, Chris shared that the initial inspiration for each label is the story Mike tells about the wine, which includes the process of making it, but also the feeling he wants his customers and guests to feel when drinking it. Mike always asks to make the colours brighter, and she loves his willingness to play and create new directions in the design work. It’s important for her to understand the winemaker’s intentions for each wine in order to showcase that story in an impactful design. Of course, Chris says tasting the wine is also a crucial and very necessary step in her research before getting down to the design work.

Is this a trend in the wine industry, or here to stay?
Over the last few years there has been an increased interest in the art that appears on wine labels, but is this a trend, or here to stay? The label can sometimes make the difference between whether someone gives a new wine or winery a try — that double take at the label may be all that’s needed, allowing the art to tell the story of the juice inside the bottle, or in the case of Traynor, giving a hint to the vibe of the winery itself and their approach to winemaking.

As a designer, Chris has always felt that the labels on products have been of importance and not just a trend. She feels lucky to be part of a community where good design is a baseline — Prince Edward County is full of entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams, so it just makes sense that you want to package your product in a way that portrays your passion and does it justice. 

Favourite Traynor projects (and drink!)
Chris has now worked on a number of labels for Traynor, starting in 2019 with the Haberdasher and Madonna vermouths, to the recent Big Eazy ft. Mamma Juice line. When we asked her if she had a label that stood out or was her favourite to work on, she said she loves each for different reasons. She will always have a special place for the inaugural vermouth labels that tell the story of the wondrous, vast array of local flora that flavours the liquid within the bottle. The Ophelia Piquette’s artwork expresses a tribute to Mike’s daughter, which also made it all the more special to work on and bring to life. 

Of course we couldn’t end our interview with Chris without asking her what her go-to bottle of Traynor wine is during the warm summer months. Thinking of beautiful County patio days brought her straight to a Negroni Bianco with Traynor’s vermouth and Kinsip Gin. She said the botanical explosion intrigues everyone she shares it with, which quickly has them trying the vermouth solo on ice. The vermouth is a true representation of the County’s local flora which makes her so grateful to call this beautiful place home. 

Look out for more new releases coming out throughout the spring and summer months! Be sure to tag your favourite designs @traynorvineyard so we can share!