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The Century-old Port Wine and the Label That Is a Brochure: Rita Rivotti’s Most Recent Projects Win Several International Design Awards

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January 16th – Rita Rivotti’s Atelier, specialized in wine design and branding, was awarded with gold and silver in the last edition of the international competition Pentawards, which took place at the end of 2022. Meanwhile, the projects developed – for Symington and the Serôdio Borges family – won further distinctions.

The gold medal was awarded for the work done on the Symington IDs range and the silver medal for the Serôdio Borges Family, 1836 Port, both in the “Beverages” category and in the subcategories “Wine Collection” and “Fine Wines”, respectively.

This is far from being the first time that Rita Rivotti brings home a distinction with the Pentawards stamp – in 2021 the recognition was enormous, with the Platinium medal for “Vinho do Mar do Monte da Carochinha”, placing the studio among the best in the world. The work was even part of the Pentawards report with the 10 packaging trends for 2022.

Rita Rivotti has already been dubbed, in Portugal, the “Sherlock Holmes of wine” for the research she does when designing labels and creating concepts. In the case of the Serôdio Borges Family, 1836 Port wine, the creative director dived deep into the 19th century to discover how wines were bottled at the time. The journey back in time, with the support of the IVDP – Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto, and taking into account the stock of very old port wines left by the previous generations of the Serôdio Borges family, resulted in an ode to imperfection.

To recreate the traditional port bottle, Rivotti and the team designed the model and then a plaster mould. Each bottle was hand-moulded using ancient glass-blowing methods. Iron tools were also produced to shape the bottleneck using an artisanal process and the glass was ordered in Italy. “The result was incredible because in this way they all looked different and each bottle is a piece of art,” assures Rivotti.

A different concept was used to create Symington’s limited edition Ilustres Desconhecidos (IDs) range – the distinctive image created by the atelier is in line with the experimental, artisanal and small quantity wines. For the labels, Rivotti’s team used photographs from Paul Symington Instagram’s profile, the 4th generation of the family, as he is a Douro’s connoisseur and is able to capture the beauty of the region. But these are not traditional labels, rather brochures that, once the coloured rubber band is removed, slowly unfold to reveal the details of each wine.

Both projects have recently earned the studio additional awards of global importance, with distinctions in the “American Graphic Design Award 2022” and “World Brand Design Society 2022/23” competitions, for Ilustres Desconhecidos, and also the bronze medal awarded by the Clube de Criativos de Portugal for the Serôdio Borges Family, 1836 Port wine. Also, since 2014 the atelier has been distinguished in the Pentawards competition, the most important in packaging design, making it one of the best in its field worldwide – there are more than 10 medals in over eight years.

Pentawards are the most important international distinction in packaging design and the succession of awards over the years solidifies the consistency of the work developed by Rivotti, who thoroughly studies each project.

The most recent Pentawards edition had a jury composed by over 50 members from 20 countries, including representatives of international brands and creative directors of large companies. Since 2007, the year this award was founded, more than 20,000 entries have been submitted from 64 countries around the world.

“We are the reference in this area in Portugal, not only because we were the first to dedicate ourselves exclusively to this market, but also because of the portfolio of clients we have gathered and from whom we have learned a lot about this wonderful world”, assures Rivotti.

Rivotti, the creative mind that gives name to the successful atelier, has always been tempted by the artistic world, but it was in the agricultural fields that she took her first steps – she studied Agronomic Engineering at UTAD, in Vila Real. After finishing the course, she worked in finance and later on dedicated herself to the role of a full-time mother. Rita Rivotti’s Atelier exists since 2000, enough time to help create and boost some of the most famous wine brands in Portugal, from the already iconic Tyto Alba, from Companhia das Lezírias, to Vicentino, born in the Alentejo coast.

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